“A portrait of my son, once a week, every week, in 2014.”
What do you do when you have 3 eager beaver boys and only 2 swings? Stick 2 of them in together! S with my nephew Z, they loved every minute of it.
I went to a parenting talk yesterday (more on that tomorrow) and the speaker reminded us of an old poem by Kahlil Gibran that is so profound, I felt the need to share it here.
Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.
Have a peaceful weekend x
For the last two weeks, S and I play this game in the car. Call it my version of “I spy…” So I usually start and I say “I see…a red bus” and he’ll say “I see a red bus” and if another one happens to drive by he’ll say “I see two red bus.” And so it goes on.
Last week I said “I see trees” and he responded with “I see flowers.” The boy is getting good.
This morning we were driving to nursery and I said “I see a black taxi” and S said “I see a black taxi mama” and then he said “I see a yellow van.” And I looked and looked but I could not see this yellow van!! So I said “Where??” And he kept pointing and saying “There mama” and suddenly, on the other side of the road, behind closed gates sat a big yellow van.
Damn, my protégé is beating me at my own game!! :O
Last week when I picked S up from nursery, he ran back in to make sure he said bye to all his class mates and said bye and high-fived his teacher. “He’s such a well mannered child” she said. And like any mother would, I blushed with pride.
I remember reading an article a few weeks before that about a lady who said she would not prompt her child to say please or thank you. And while I can sort of understand where she was coming from (her argument was to allow your child to develop at their own pace), I do believe that in the same way we’d teach our children about the world (colours, new words, foods, etc), our children need to be taught manners.
Of course much of their learning comes from watching the people around them and so being mindful of ourselves and modelling good manners is the best way to teach our children. But a few prompts here and there help significantly.
Here are some fun ways to encourage your child to say thank you:
1. Add a high five! Children love the sense of touch rather than being put on the spot to say a few words. Adding a high five makes saying thank you a fun thing.
2. Get creative! A nice way to say thank you is to send a card or a picture/drawing/painting done by your child. If you explain to them what you’re doing and why you’re doing it, they’ll associate saying thank you and being grateful with a fun activity.
3. Don’t forgot your thank you’s and follow it up with your reasons. So you could say: “Thank you for helping me open the door and letting your friend in”. “Thank you for helping me hang the washing up.” Children are more likely to say thank you if they understand why they are saying it.
And all the time remember, no pressure. Your child might not say it one day and the next day it’ll just click. Forcing the issue or shaming your child in front of other’s will only lead to them grudgingly saying thank you, which really will only make us feel good in front of the other person but make our child resentful.