Woah! Look at me. This is my second blog, on my second week! Who is this lady? HA!
So, kids. Let's talk about em. I remember after finding out I was pregnant with Brayden, I couldn't stop imagining tiny baby booties, and little bow ties, and snuggling with a little fresh babe.
I thought about bottles, and pacifiers, and wipes, and diapers, and all the essentials you need to care for a baby. It wasn't until after he was born that I started to think about what kind of lessons I would teach my child. I got so much unsolicited advice. Do this, don't do that.. Blah Blah Blah. One night, Brendan and I were up late and started to talk about how we wanted to raise our children.
What did we want our dynamics to be? Who would be the disciplinarian, and who would be the softie? What values did we want them to have? How did we make the little lessons mean something bigger? Well that first year went by quick, and soon we found ourselves with a toddler, and another little baby on the way.
We had to teach them why we don't smear poop on the walls. (Because it's gross) and why we only take out one thing to play with at a time..(so its easier to clean at the end of the day) Soon, we were faced with bigger challenges. Like, why we aren't mean to our brothers, and why mommy and daddy should not have to repeat themselves, and why it's important to look both ways before crossing the street.
Just this week, we had our first big life lesson. Brayden, the oldest, and quickly becoming the smartest person in the house, found himself curious. I had a few candles burning throughout the house, and he kept asking when he could blow them out. Finally, I told him he could, and i didn't think anything of it. My mom mentioned that he came out of the bathroom smelling a little burnt, but I figured he was just playing in the wax like I used to do when I was a kid.
It wasn't until later that night when I went into their bathroom to see that there were burnt remnants of toilet paper EVERYWHERE and it smelled like an ashtray in there. I was infuriated. I made him clean it all up, and told him when he was done, to come and talk to me. I really wanted to just take away his pokemon cards and ipad, and send him to bed, but I didn't. While he was cleaning, I had to think of what kind of lesson he could learn from this, and how I could use this as a teaching moment.
Finally, it came to me. He was visibly upset when he came to talk to me, and even more so when I told him that his daddy was on the way home to talk to him. I calmed him down, and asked him "Why did you do this?" He said he was just wondering what would happen to the toilet paper if he put it in the fire. I told him "You know, if you're ever curious about ANYTHING, you can always ask mommy or daddy, or any adult." I told him that personally, I love to watch a fire burn. I love throwing paper into the fire pit and watching it ignite, and that I would have loved to show him how paper burns, in a safe way.
I explained to him that if there is anything that he ever has questions about, he can always come to mommy and daddy, and that he'll never ever be in trouble, just for being curious or having questions about something. I made him understand that we would always be there for him, even if it were in the middle of the night, and he felt like it couldn't wait until morning. He was calm by now, and started smiling.
Brendan came home, and, well, he's not short winded by any means, so he reiterated to him what I had told him, and he came and gave me a hug and a kiss, told me he was sorry and that he understood now that he could ask us anything. I was so proud of us at that moment. I wanted so bad to just punish him and be done with it. But it's these little teachable moments that mold our children into who they are going to be. Its the time that we take to explain to them why they shouldn't be doing something instead of brushing it off with a "because I said so"
I'm confident that as he and his siblings grow up, we can continue to teach them lessons that help them remain close to us, and reassure them that we will always be there for them. Sure, there are a million more lessons to teach, but one down, 999,999 to go!
What kind of lessons have you taught your kids without even knowing it, or when is the last time you intentionally made a small lesson into a huge one? Let us know in the comments!