I don’t think we give children enough credit. I grew up in a culture that thought “children should be seen, not heard.” What a load of crap that theory is and I have two recent examples in my life to prove it.
Yesterday, my two and a half year old son was messing around inside the refrigerator and after constant prodding from my wife and I about how he should not be in there; he drops an entire carton of eggs. Not just a few broke, but all of them! I immediately raised my voice and removed him from the situation and put him into a timeout. FYI, two and a half year-olds really don’t get the concept of timeouts.
Cleaning eggs off a floor is not easy and my anger/disappointment at the situation rose the more paper towels and time I wasted. I carried my angst into dinner and scarfed down my food not being mindful of the wonderful meal my wife had just prepared. After a few minutes my five year old daughter eloquently said, “Daddy, why are you choosing to be mad right now? It was an accident and they are just eggs. We can get more at the store tomorrow.” It took me a split second to process what she just said and for me to drop the part of my ego that chose to be mad. I took a deep breath, thanked her for her wisdom and enjoyed the rest of the wonderful meal.
The second example happened last weekend while my family and I were at dinner in North Lake Tahoe. There was a band playing in the courtyard and without hesitation two of my kids ran to the front and danced with some other children. No adults were dancing and the kids were having a blast. I thought about going up there but surveyed the situation and realized I would be in direct site of too many people and I was far too sober. I would bet money I was not the only adult who shared these thoughts…My same daughter, who politely told me to chill out about the eggs last night, rallied a few very resistant adults to dance and brought smiles to a lot of faces. All these kids acted on an impulse to dance and were not crippled by the fear of what others might think.
Children have a lot of great wisdom to offer if we take the time to listen.
About Charles Perry
Charles is a bit of a renaissance man, a citizen of the planet, a building inspector by trade, devoted father & husband and one of the funniest people he knows. He is deeply passionate about peace, social justice and respect and equality for all living creatures. Charles thought up the World Minded ideology several years ago and has made it his goal to inspire people around the world to care for themselves, others and the planet we share by exposing what’s right in the world. He resides in the Eastern Sierras and loves life in the mountains, but longs for the beach because of some ridiculous “grass is always greener” notion.