I thought it was my job to teach my kids. It is, but the truth is I learn from them all the time. They teach me the obvious things, things I used to know and somehow forgot, such as:
#1 -When you are full, stop eating.
Both my kids do this, which means overeating is a behavior I learned. So I think I am going to avoid the “clean your plate” approach as long as I feel like they have eaten enough decent food. As for me, I need to start listening to my body and stop eating when I am full.
#2 – Know what’s good for you.
My daughter, Molly (7) doesn’t have much of a sweet tooth. She’s not a big fan of butter either, which of course makes me wonder if she was switched at birth or something (she wasn’t). Anyway, she gravitates toward healthy foods and eats very little meat. Charlie-the-candy-bandit (4) is another story. Molly has good instincts about what is good for her and she’s smart enough to listen to them. I should totally follow her lead.
#3 – Listen
My daughter didn’t want to deal with her long hair because it was always tangled. She repeatedly asked me for a short haircut. I thought she would regret it, but we finally did it yesterday. Not only is it adorable, but she was right. The haircut is just what she needed. I wasn’t listening.
#4 – Play
I am no Heather Hopp-Bruce or anything, but I enjoy coloring with crayons and sometimes even paint with the kids. But most of the time, I just create the scenario where my kids play without me (toys, a craft, the park, or playdates). I will be honest, a lot of times, I just don’t want to play. Sometimes I find I am waiting for their bed time so I can
have wine and watch a movie eat vegetables and exercise.
So, I have been thinking about it, and am going to make an effort to play more. Why? Because at some point they will quit asking. At some point, they won’t want me to play with them. And I know I will be sad when that day comes.
#5 – Pay Attention & Be in the Moment
“Mom. Mom, are you listening?” If they are saying this to me, then I am totally not listening to them or paying attention or being present. Kids – pretty much whatever they are doing, they are in the moment, and I should take a lesson. It makes me wonder at what point they learn to zone out and not be present. School facilitates it, I think. My friend Winkie and I were talking about the movie Waiting for Superman. She said, school teaches kids to think they are invisible. It got me thinking.
I think technology keeps me from being present. My time is usually divided if my phone or iPad or computer are within reach. That kind of stinks, I need to work on that. Plus, I am probably not providing my kids with a great example of how people who care about you should treat you…hmmm. I really need to work on this one…I think I am going to stop writing this blog post now and go tickle my kids.
What have your kids taught you?