Friday, October 15, 2004
No Nagging Zone
Yesterday my 4-year old son offered to help me put the groceries away and he grabbed a big bag of apples to put in the refrigerator. I gently reminded him,"Do not throw the apples around but be gentle with them or else you will bruise them." after an episode from the last shopping trip in which he was in fact being rather rough with the poor produce. My son very seriously said to me, "I don't need you to remind me of that Mommy. I remember what I did and I was not going to do it again." Ouch! I realized that I had not given him a chance to show his newfound respect for easy-to-bruise produce but instead in my zeal to keep him from making a mistake, I missed an opportunity for him to show me that he grown and changed. I was humbled and reminded to give others (husbands included) an opportunity to show what they can do before I offer pre-emptive correction.
Take-home tip: Be mindful of what you are correcting when dealing with others. Is it something that can correct itself? Can you let others make mistakes and correct them aferwards or do you always try to take control of outcomes of situations before you even know if your input is needed? You may save yourself some energy and foster growth in others by learning when to just "wait and see".
This small teachable moment echoes studies done by The Heritage Foundation that reveal that our children learn by being present with us as much as possible in a family setting. I would not trade these precious moments for anything else in this world.