I have a 12 year old boy... if you truly know any boys that age you know they are insanely forgetful.
So this morning we leave the house to take the kids to school. As soon as we are up the road I hear the dreaded "oh no!" coming from my sweet little boy. "I forgot my science paper at home." I began to lecture, "You mean the one I asked you about last night?" "Why didn't you put it in your backpack" Then as I am turning around .."You're going to be late for school!"
Suddenly I stopped and thought... He did remember, maybe 4 blocks away from home but he DID remember. He also got himself up this morning, got himself dressed and started making his breakfast. He made his bed, straightened his room and opened his blinds with out me reminding him. He was kind and lovable, he gave his Mom a good morning hug, he gave his Dad a goodbye hug, he made plans to build a fort with his little sister. He got himself all packed up (science aside) and when he was all ready sat down in his favorite chair to read. And this whole time he is sitting in the back seat not the front because it's funner back there with his sister. Sounds like a dream kid, right? In light of all that, so what if he forgot, then remembered, his assignment!!!
I back tracked and praised him for remembering. The thing is. the second he remembered that he forgot he knew he had messed up, he knew he should have put it in his backpack when I mentioned it, he knew he should have double checked before sitting down to read. He didn't need me to tell him all of this. He didn't need a lecture. He needed a little reminder. "Don't forget to double check your stuff before bed, good job remembering it on your own."
Sometimes as a parent I feel the need to make a lesson out of every little thing. I lecture and give advise to every slip up and neglect to see the good, I forget to see the silver lining. I over react. I forget to think, "at least". At least he remembered now, At least she told me, At least it didn't break, At least they didn't get hurt. We probably all need to think of the at leasts and stop dwelling on the bad.
My kids are going to mess up, just like we all will, they will live and learn just like the rest of us. I am raising happy, healthy, kind, respectful, fun, and responsible little people. That is what I need to remember. What I need to see and appreciate. What I need to focus on.
I'm also thinking.... I might want to save my lectures for when they really need them or soon they are going to stop listening. All they will hear is my voice, AGAIN, probably sounding a little bit like Charlie Brown's Grandma.
So I am going to lay off on the lectures and appreciate what they do right, what they made beautiful, and pay attention to what they can teach me.
"When we choose to see and appreciate what is good and beautiful in our children, the goodness can't help but grow, and their beauty blossoms forth."
~Katrina Kenison, The Gifts of an Ordinary Day~