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Andy’s Blog

Is your child teaching you something?

Your child is capable of coming up with surprising insight.  Be listening, because your child is likely going to be teaching you a thing or two, regardless of age.

When my oldest grandson was about 2 ½ he was strapped into his car seat.  He had no idea where he was or where his parents were taking him.  All he could see was the world passing by.  Mom and dad were in a serious conversation. There was a moment of silence between the two of them.  My grandson was not involved in the adult conversation.  Suddenly, out of the blue, he spoke out as clear as can be and said, “It is just a jungle out there!”  Amazing insights can come from kids if you as a parent are just listening.

Going Camping!

We leave later today to drive to the farm for a week of vacation.  I have been looking forward to this. No mowing or pulling weeds this week.  We are traveling in the car but Dad is pulling our little camping trailer behind so we can go camping for a day or two at the end of the week.  I know this is going to be a great week.

My swimming has really improved and I will be able to swim in the big pond where the older kids swim.  We will find all kinds of adventures on the farm.  We always have a blast.  None of my family knows but Andy and his Uncle Andrew are going with us.  I have warned them to stay out of site because adults tend to think ants are a problem.  My aunt even told my Mom a while back that she sprays chemicals to kill ants.   Andy told me he knows humans don’t think much of them.  God has a plan for ants.  There are more ants than people so that should mean something!

Want vs Need

Language has implications.  What you say to a child has lasting impact.  Choose your words carefully so you can truly engage with the thinking of your child.  Here is an example:  Are you guilty of asking your child what he or she wants?  Asking about wants reinforces “me” thinking.  Rather, ask your child what he or she needs.  This question helps you and the child center on a need that you can help fill by working together.  Check yourself and see if you are by default reinforcing self-centered mindset.  It is OK to ask for occasional wants—but be sure that they are questions related to a special occasion or a long-term goal.

I Hate Weeds in Flower Beds!!!!

Dad said I did so well mowing the lawn last week that now I could mow it every week.  He is trying to push all of his jobs off on me—and I am just a kid.  There should be some law to protect us kids from working in the summers.  Then he said that I would get a $2.00 for each week I did the mowing.  This is sounding better than I thought. I like money!

And then the surprise:  Dad explained that the flower bed between our house and the neighbors need to be weeded.  That was my new job for the week. I can handle mowing but weeding is something else.  This is hot and dirty work.  If Adam and Eve had not messed up there would be no weeds.  This is their fault!  I have to clean up after them.  Anyway, Dad took me out to the flower bed and showed me the difference between weeds and flowers and told me to get started.  I bet this job is going to take at least two days of my summer vacation.  I hate weeds—and by the way I pull them out I bet they are hating me.  Every 15 minutes I need to take a break, get some water—and wish I were younger.   A swim in the pool would sure be fun about now.

 

Leadership ability often shows up early in a child’s life.

Leadership skills don’t come out of a kid without encouragement from those that see it! Achieving leadership skills is a journey that involves you as a parent.  Not every kid will be like Thomas Jefferson, but every child has an abundance of potential for greatness.  As a parent, find ways to allow your child to lead.  Allow him to plan a special event. Allow her to do something that is out of her comfort zone.  Allow experimentation.  Embrace the outcome.  Be your kid’s cheerleader.  Allow them to fail.

At its core, leadership development is almost always a matter of identifying one’s potential and then nurturing that potential so that the individual enjoys the personal adventure of discovery.   Imagine for a moment that you were the parents of Thomas Jefferson.  What did you see in him that would lead you to intentionally make sacrifices and created an environment for him to eventually do the unthinkable?