Friday, July 20, 2012
Learning Good Behavior from a 4-Year-Old
When writing posts about parenting, I usually try to put my best foot forward. Sometimes I allow my readers glimpses of my weaknesses, but mostly the topics give me the opportunity to share from years of experience. This is one of those posts where I let my readers know that I’m far from perfect, because today’s two lessons on good behavior I have learned from a 4-year-old. My daughter, Amanda, is that 4-year-old.
The first lesson I learned is on sharing. I have a sweet tooth. In the first years of married life, if I bought a soft-serve ice-cream and my husband wanted to share it, I’d tell him to buy his own one. If I had a candy bar, oh baby, I wanted that thing all for myself! For some reason, my husband loves sharing my sweet indulgences. It works with him the other way too. If he has something that looks really good, he will never not share it with me. Over time, I loosened up in the area of sharing.
So, what has Amanda taught me on that subject? She has taught me about the joy of sharing. She would rather share her few Smarties (M&Ms) than keep them for herself. You should see the smile on her face when she goes around to every member of our family with candy in her hand. I have tried to stop her from sharing in the past. That’s because we don’t allow her a whole kid’s size box (with M&Ms it would be a small packet) at once. We limit the amount that she’s allowed to eat just like we did with our other kids.
I would reason with her whenever I suggested that she shouldn’t share. My reasoning was that there are six members in our family, and if she shared her few treats with everyone, she’d have hardly any left for herself. Once, I even put my foot down, but you should have seen how sad that made her. I felt really bad. She wasn’t uncomprehending what I was trying to say, she was just finding more joy in sharing than having those extra sweets for herself. Now, I’ve learned that there is a greater joy in sharing than in self-indulging.
The second lesson I learned from her is on having a gracious attitude. Yesterday, she demonstrated it so well for hubby and me. Every Thursday she’s allowed to take her little Disney Princesses bicycle to school with her. It’s part of her teacher’s preschool program for the kids, and she loves taking her bike, but sometimes we forget.
Amanda said to her daddy this time, “Daddy, it’s okay if you forget. Teacher also has bikes that we can use.” Her words were like a healing balm to my soul. If someone forgets to do something that I’ve asked them to do, then I throw a small fit. I need to be more gracious toward the people in my life.
Related post: Learning Doesn’t Only Happen in School
Posted by Christina Morley at Friday, July 20, 2012 Labels: big family, daddy, Disney Princess, good behavior, learning, life principle, mistakes, mothers, out of the mouths of babes, parenting, perfect, playgroup, say the right thing, school, sharing, Smarties, understand