Friday, January 31, 2014

Be Careful What You Say and What You Do

Every day is a day for learning and for teaching no matter what your age.  As much as I like to believe I'm smarter than a 5 year old I realize that perhaps I'm not.  My 5 year old grandson has an i-pod, yes an i-pod.  That child can maneuver through that thing faster than I can maneuver through my phone.  I consider myself tech savvy but kids these days just seem to know a lot.  The thing is they can learn a lot from us grown ups and we can learn a lot from them.

Whenever my grandchildren ask questions I try to use that time as a way to teach them something new.  Often they simply want a one or two word answer as do most children but I still trudge onward into that teaching mode.  You should try it sometimes because, once in a while the child will become interested in what you're saying and truly listen.   Sometimes however my youngest grandchild will simply say, "OK, Gigi" and take off to his next adventure before I've finished the eloquent speech I had planned in my head.  

Many times I've heard the expression, "Children are like sponges."  And you know what, it's true; they soak up so much information whether good or bad.  That's why I like to talk to my grandchildren about everything; I don't want them to absorb false information or information that is too worldly for their age.  We've discussed manners, baseball, football, sewing, painting, drawing, washing hands, kindness, ethnicity and religion.  Children may not always be eager to listen but they're often eager to voice an opinion.  Ask them questions that can't be answered with a simple yes or no.  Give them  your undivided attention and truly listen.

Many years ago I worked in a day care and I listened carefully to the children when they talked.  Their simple wording or emphasis on words could give you an insight into their home life, or their personality.  Below are a few of the conversations I remember well.

One day in my classroom of 2 year old children I thought it'd be nice to make Mother's Day cards by having each child comment on "What is a mommy?".   We sat in our circle and I asked each child one by one and wrote their answer on a piece of construction paper along with their name for them to color later in the day.  Below are a couple of the responses I got when I asked my students, "What is a mommy?".
LJ:  She grows (I found out her mom was having another baby)
AM: She cooks, (me: What does she cook?)  AM: Soup & crackers (perhaps mommy isn't a gourmet cook or perhaps A.M. just likes soup and crackers)
That session went so well I decided to do it again for Father's Day.  However I got more than I bargained for that time. Below are some of the responses I got from that day.
My question was, "What is a Daddy?"
KJ:  He takes a sh*t. (I was shocked and my knee-jerk reaction was, "WHAT?"  KJ, kindly repeated the answer as I tried in a flustered manner to change the direction of the conversation.) It was obvious that KJ had picked up Daddy's term for bathroom activity.
KC: He beats snakes and he beats em real hard!  (I found out that KC's daddy had recently killed a snake at grandma's house.)
WG: He takes me to the car wash (WG said this because it was actually her favorite place to go at that age.)
Sometimes our children or grandchildren discern who we are by what we do, what we say or where we go.

My husband recently rededicated his life to the Lord and has stopped cursing.  While my youngest grandson was riding in his truck with him a few weeks ago he turned to my husband and said, "Granddaddy, you haven't said a cuss word in a long, long, long, long time."  Children listen and watch all the time even if they don't tell us so.

Be careful little ears what you hear (Be careful big mouths what you say.)  Be careful little eyes what you see. (Be careful big people what you do.)  Because the Lord up above is looking down below.  And children will repeat what they hear and what they see. whether good or bad.


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