Do you learn a lot from your kids? I know I did. And now I’m learning just as much—or more!—from my grandchildren. Here are two of the latest examples:
“You’re Mrs. Beaver. You make the decisions.” That’s what my 4-year-old grandson told me when we were “playing Narnia” last week. Soren’s parents had been reading him one chapter each night from The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, by C.S. Lewis. The child was completely entranced by the story. While I was visiting them, his favorite game was “Let’s play Narnia,” and we each had assigned character parts. We were to call each other by our Narnia names—even his little 1-year-old brother whom he had named, interestingly, Aslan.
One morning when Soren (Peter) and I were playing in the basement, his “Kangaroo Climber” was serving as the beaver den. Trying to figure out what toys (plastic food, etc) we could use to serve “breakfast,” I asked him, “Peter, what do you think we should have for breakfast?” That’s when I got his response: “Well, you’re Mrs. Beaver. You make the decisions.”
Hmmm…food for thought (no pun intended!). I wonder if that’s not what a lot of kids are thinking when struggling parents may be being having difficulty “being the parent.” Kids need to know who’s in charge, don’t they? Actually, they instinctively know who’s supposed to be in charge. All the more reason to step up and, as we say at Mom to Mom, “be the parent”!
“Time out! Time out! Time out!” This story came to me from “Gigi,” the grandmother with whom I share grandchildren Bengt (5) and Hannah (21 months). Once when she was visiting and watching the kids, Hannah ventured over to grab a lamp cord she wasn’t supposed to touch. “No, Hannah, you can’t touch that,” reminded her big brother. Looking him straight in the eye, she turned around and grabbed hold of the cord, exclaiming in her powerful (I’m not kidding!) voice: “MINE!!!!” Enter Gigi. As her grandmother approached the scene of the crime, Hannah immediately began shouting “Time out, time out, time out,” and took herself right over to the time-out chair. Her mom tells me she doesn’t always do that, but it was an instructive moment.
And sometimes we wonder if they really “get it” when we tell them no, or follow through with discipline. Think again! As I was often reminded as a mom, our kids are always smarter than we are!