Monday, September 30, 2013

Lesson Five: Doing It His Way

Between the dark and the daylight,
When the night is beginning to lower,
Comes a pause in the day’s occupation,
That is known as the Children’s Hour.
The Children's Hour (1860)
    Learning to follow instead of lead is one of the harder lessons I've endured while watching my sidekick grow. I always want to make sure he's going in the right direction, doing the right thing, saying the right words, keeping up with the "norm" of his age. It took about a year before this wore off and I still have times when it comes back with a vengeance. We're a constant work in progress.
   It became a little easier to let go around the time that he really began to express his own ideas and opinions (other than when he thought he should eat.). It became more fun to watch and follow than to lead and guide. Don't get me wrong, I still help him along the way. A lot. He's only two and besides, I can't help it. I'm the momma, it's just how it is. Once we all get used to this fact, happiness will abound for all! ;)
    If you take a step back sometimes and just *watch* your child learn, I have no doubt that you will be amazed. For example, I tried to teach my sidekick how to sign when he was still quite young. But I had trouble keeping up with it so, we stopped. BUT! Just a week or so ago, he picked up on signing "thank you" and "smart"! All on his own! Well, with the help of Blues Clues (thanks, Steve!). So, now we sign those and a couple of others and he loves it!
   I, consciously, took a step back this week and let him lead. I would put out our school project but let him decide when to sit and work on it. I didn't moan and groan when he wanted to stop and play in the "beach" (sand pit) near the track. I made sure we had enough time for him to make his own decisions to guide our day. It was fantastic!
    He proved to me that he does love to do school and enjoys the projects I set up for him. He reaffirmed in my heart how smart, how special, and just all together how amazing he is for a little human.
    I encourage every parent to try this. Make time for your little to lead you. Give them a day of "YES!". I understand that real life must happen. Not every day can be full of yeses and that's okay. But it will show them you respect their thoughts and their hearts if you can try. And that, in itself, is a life lesson that they will always remember.
    Be their guiding light but don't forget to let them shine.

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