Big lessons from little ones

slowing down, conscious parenting, savoring the moment, appreciating everything that children can teach us, living in the moment can all be learned from children. Children can be wise teachers. Carl Honore wrote about about being in the moment because of what his son taught him about bedtime routines and bedtime stories. Slowing down is an important lesson of parenting. Having patience is one of the most important things a parent can learn from their children. Parenting is about patience, love and forgiveness.Welcoming my firstborn into my world when I was 22 years old changed the course of my life and taught me more about life and love than I ever imagined.

Casey Anne and her three siblings put every human excrement imaginable on my narcissism and flushed it all down the toilet. She forced me to think about someone else besides me, and to put me second. Ironically, that became a habit. A decade later, I had to resurrect my needs from the toilet and take better care of me.

My children taught me how to be interrupted and still get something done — in addition to taking care of them. The hardest jobs are when you’re constantly interrupted — like secretaries, teachers, nurses and mothers.

Bob and I bought a house that had been neglected when the children were 4, 2 and 6 months old. The 35 windows were so gray with dirt that you couldn’t tell the weather outside. Every day for a month, I plopped them in front of Sesame Street and washed three windows until chaos erupted and I surrendered — another lesson from three children born in three-and-a-half years.

The most valuable lesson was patience, to slow down to their pace, to revel in the present moment. To appreciate humongous earth movers and construction sites; wild animals like squirrels, ants and robins; the wonder of a train station or airport.

Bob and I spent more than a decade giving the kids a nightly bath, reading a book, singing a song and tucking them in. It was like a meditation, and it worked, because they stayed in bed and went to sleep early. It bonded us for life.

In a lecture on Ted Talks,  journalist Carl Honore said that reading a bedtime story to his son taught him to slow down his hectic life. It inspired Honore to write a book “In Praise of Slowness,” a valuable lesson to most 21st century Americans.

Now in their 20s, my “children” continue to teach me different lessons about relationships, technology and  life. They’ve returned the favor — I was their most important teacher because humans learn more in the first four years than they do for the rest of their lives.

When my children were little, they patiently allowed me to make the same mistake, over and over, until I figured out to do something different. Nowadays, they could have more patience now with their ol’ Mom, but they haven’t had any children to teach them — yet.

What have your children taught you?

Explore posts in the same categories: attachment, bedtime routines, conscious parenting, positive parenting, Self-care for mothers, sleep and children, special time

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3 Comments on “Big lessons from little ones”

  1. My children have taught me that there isn’t anything else in this world more important than our relationship. When they were little it was very difficult, there were many interruptions, by the time I was 28, I had four young children, two girls and two boys,(our youngest attended my college graduation!) and running a business, two actually; there were times when I wanted to curl up and cry, but they always reminded me of just how precious and fleeting life really is. Now we are very close, I think because I(and my husband, their dad) took the time to always watch and listen to them them, “mom,dad, look!” was the common line in our household.They are all adults now, two of them graduated from college and married and have given us the gift of two grandsons. Talk about taking teaching to the next level! I learn something new everyday it seems, and we revel in it. I must say, when I see them, all the stress of everyday stuff and work melts away practically instantly. So, I guess, my children and grandchildren have taught me the importance of wonder and play and relaxation and just how to feel like a kid again, even if it is only for five minutes!

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