Emma Lawson Shares Lessons Children Unknowingly Teach Parents
Being a mother of two wonderful and energetic (sometimes even too energetic) boys, I’ve spent countless hours trying to teach them things about life and the world around them. We’ve spent numerous afternoons watching cute documentaries and learning the names of the animals, not to mention the struggle with telling the time and tying your shoelaces. What surprised me was the fact that I was learning something from them at the same time.
#1 – The world is an immensely interesting place
Both my boys would spend hours exploring their own room or our backyard, and it made me realize how many things I take for granted. While I was teaching them about flowers and insects it dawned on me how intriguing the world around us really is. I also can spend hours observing the garden and listening to the birds chirping with them – it calms us all down.
#2 – Keep going
When they were learning how to walk, it took them millions of tries, but they did not give up. At first it was simply cute: adorable baby falling down and getting up again, but then I remembered how easy it is for us grownups to give up once things get difficult. My sons reminded me that falling down is simply a part of walking.
#3 – Accept the world as it is
They love to play with other children, and it doesn’t matter who these children are and how they look like. They are not afraid of birthmarks and scars, and make friends so effortlessly that I feel ashamed of myself and my sometimes judgmental nature. They never judge the other until they grow up, and then it is my turn to teach them their lesson back.
#4 – Be gentle
My older one adores his little brother even if they fight occasionally (boys will be boys, after all). One time they were at the playground together, and little one was a bit scared, so his big brother took him by the hand and told him he would keep him safe. It brought tears to my eyes and filled my heart with pride.
“Children are the living messages we send to a time we will not see.” – John W. Whitehead, founder Rutherford Institute
#5 – Find your imagination
It was difficult at first to choose the toys I wanted them to play with because of all the worries about the small and sharp parts, and whether a toy was right for a certain age or not. They have taught me that the simplest cardboard boxes and wooden toys can be as fun and as inspiring as the most fashionable robots with small lights. All you need is a bit of imagination, and kids have that.
#6 – Practice what you preach
It hit me that my words are less valuable than my actions, so to speak. They will listen to you, of course, but you also have to show them what you mean. And it’s not just about eating your veggies, but not cursing, and being careful in traffic are important as well. They will copy you and you have to set the good example.
#7 – We are all different
Yes, my boys are similar in many ways, and they get along great, but they are totally different. My older one is shy and quiet, while my little one is ‘fearless’ and loud. It took me forever to teach my first son to tie his shoe laces, but his brother picked it up so quickly, it surprised me. Get to know them both, they may be similar, but they will grow up to be two different men one day.
#8 – Love is an endless well
An important lesson I got from my family in general: you can love more than one person! At first it was just my husband, later it was my firstborn, and after a while it was his brother. I feel as my love is greater and deeper than ever and I am happy because I found all these beautiful ways to love someone.
#9 – ‘Mommy’ moments
I found out that I am not a machine after all, and that I need some time for myself from time to time. At first I felt guilty about it, but I’ve learned I am calmer and happier after I have a few simple moments for myself.
#10 – Cuddling time
In a blink of an eye they grew up and from babies became toddlers, and a moment later little men. I love every single second we spent cuddling and it showed me how you should always find a way to be gentle and show how much you love your family.
My boys are not perfect, even though I sometimes believe that they are, and they still have a long way ahead of them, with plenty of world to explore. I try not to be too strict, and whenever I find that my patience is running out, I remember all these things and find strength to keep going.