Sometimes, when we ask our children to do something, it’s easy to get frustrated if they don’t listen to us immediately.
It’s easy to place little value on what they might be focusing on.
It’s tempting to insist that they stop what they’re doing and listen to us ‘just for a minute’.
Most of us do it…
This evening I was rushing my son home from our walk as it was getting late. “I’ll count to ten…” I said…getting a little impatient as his baby brother started fidgeting in my arms.
I resisted the urge to call him again, to demand that he stop what he’s doing and listen to me.
Instead, I walked over to him, bent down and asked what he was up to.
“I’m trying to collect these conkers” he pointed to the pile on the floor. “I want to make something with them for you” he added thoughtfully.
I helped him to fill his pockets and we walked home happily together.
It got me thinking…how often do I rush my children?
How often do I create an unnecessary conflict?
I’d bet it’s more than I’d like to admit.
Do we inadvertently stunt their curious, imaginative and adventurous minds?
Could we learn something from their focus, determination and enthusiasm?
Is putting their shoes and socks on ‘right now’ more important than allowing them time to finish the task that has them so engrossed?
Can WE wait?
Can WE slow down?
Can WE prioritise their world for a moment?
BUT, I still need to remind myself often that my wishes aren’t ALWAYS more important than my children’s.
That sometimes it’s OK to miss the bus and spend an hour looking for shore-line treasures instead.
We need to remember that slowing down doesn’t actually mean achieving less.
Most of us adults have been programmed to rush through life, to follow the crowd…to stick to the path. Kids aren’t like that.
Shouldn’t we do all we can to keep them that way?
Do we want our children to be creative, imaginative, inventive, compassionate and curious or simply obedient?
Yes, there are times when our kids just NEED to listen but I’m not convinced that these moments occur as often as we tell ourselves.
So SLOW DOWN. Join your children on their adventures. Laugh with them. Tumble together down grassy slopes. Spend the mornings splashing in puddles and the afternoons telling silly stories.
Let them to be free to explore, wonder, fidget, splash, practice, stare, play, imagine…with you by their side.
This post is inspired by a post by Leah from Your Natural Learner and my little explorers Leo (age 3) and Sebastien (16 months).