When you think of qualities you would like to see in your children you may think of empathy, kindness, gentleness, or politeness. But there are some attributes that are often underappreciated or even discouraged. I thought I would share a few of these qualities with hopes to dispel some of the negative attitudes surrounding them.
"Can we go now? Can we go? Is it time to go? Can we go now???"
Sometimes it's labeled as impatience. However, the eager child is the adult you want to be working with; the person who is ready to get the job done. They are the makings of the adventurous friend who will join you in dance, yoga and pottery lessons. They're excited to try anything and everything.
This past Christmas wouldn't have been half as exciting if my oldest daughter didn't remind me daily of how many more sleeps until Christmas. I want my children to be eager. Their eagerness keeps me excited and enthused about life.
This is a quality that people often regard as rude.
However, I want my children to speak up. I want bold children. They may need direction on how and when to assert themselves but I don't think being outspoken is a negative quality. If my child's rights are being violated or if she sees someone else being bullied or hurt, I certainly want her to vocalize her feelings.
"I can do it! I don't want your help! Let me do it"
Persistence. This is a quality that often gets under a parent's skin. However, persistence is a beautiful quality to observe in young children.
I recall watching my baby lying on her play mat in the living room when suddenly she propped herself up on her elbows and looked around the room. When she spotted her soother, a determined look came across her face. She used her arms to lurch her body forward, dragging her legs behind her. I observed closely as this commando crawl turned into a real crawl. She toppled over and let out a cry of frustration but then got up and pulled herself forward again. When she got to her soother, she picked it up with her little hands and maneuvered it skillfully into her mouth. Wow!
Where would we be if our children didn't have persistence? This quality is the cornerstone of learning and inevitably leads to mastery. Why would we discourage it? I want my children to be persistent.
What do you think?
We want the best for our children and maybe we think that life will be easier for them if they conform to a particular standard. However, "the best" is often subjective.
Have you taken some time to document your parenting vision? Carefully consider your children's personalities. Do your children display any qualities that get under your skin? What is it that you don't like about those characteristics? Is it more about you than it is about your child? Are you fearful of judgment from others if your child is demonstrating those qualities?
Perhaps we need to appreciate and support our children as who they are, instead of trying to change them.
To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment. - Ralph Waldo Emerson