The good kid
Don’t let yourself become so concerned with raising a good kid that you forget you already have one. ~Glennon Melton, momastery.com
A dear friend invited me to go to an event where this blogger was speaking and it was so fun, hearing this woman, listening to her down-to-earth chatter about real-life things that actually matter to most of us. What I like most about this blogger is that she talks about the hard stuff, and also reminds us of the good stuff. Sometimes, these reminders of the good stuff – like how great our kids really are – are just we need to really SEE. It’s hard, isn’t it, to always focus on what great people our kids are. Sometimes, all we see are the errors they make and hear the whining they are currently emitting, and we are blinded to the amazing humans that are our kids. Sometimes the best thing we can do as parents is to really look, and see honestly and truly how amazing our kids are.
They are so smart. More than just grades, our kids are capable of so many things. They are growing up in an age wherein the use of technology is much like breathing; they can get our computers/phones/devices to do pretty much anything we want … and more. Beyond devices, these kids are growing up seeing and doing things that we only read about it textbooks. To experience these things in person is to really own the knowledge of how this came to be and what it means.
They are so wise. They see what amazing things they have in their life and they are grateful for it. They understand what it is to have less, and so appreciate how rich their lives are (not necessarily monetarily-speaking, but absolutely comparatively speaking, especially in the places we live). These kids understand cultural differences and know what it is to be blind to these differences to accept one another as equals. They know that just because we come from difference places does not mean one or the other of us is better or more important. They know that what is most important is human connection, and they do their best to make the most of our time in each of these amazing places we get to call home.
They are so kind. One of the current buzzwords we often hear is EQ. Emotional Intelligence is a measure of our ability to motivate and regulate ourselves, connect with others, and interact in a positive manner with those around us. Our kids definitely have high measures of EQ; they have to, in order to function well in this nomad lifestyle. Kindness is a positive character trait that makes our kids that much more fun to be around. They stick up for the underdog, make friends easily and frequently, and reach out to include because it is important to connect. One can never have too many friends; they know what it’s like to be the new kid, and know that it is going to be their turn again for that experience soon enough.
They are so strong. Not only are our good kids regularly active, but they also exercise admirable self-discipline to keep themselves doing what it is they should be doing. Discipline keeps them trying new sports and using the skills that they have to master each . They get to zipline, climb walls, white water raft, and hike through miles of mountain trails without too much complaining. They get to leap through a riverbed, spend a day on a surfboard, sand strap on windsurfing gear to give it a go. They can carry groceries without squishing the bread. They can navigate a market, try their hand at catching a fish, and nimbly leap from rock to rock in a tidal basin in search of only the best sea glass without falling in. They can paddleboard, they can kayak, and they can swim for hours. They are strong because they follow your example of staying active and healthy.
They are happy. Happiness is a habit, not a trait. Sure, some people are much more able to see the proverbial glass half full than others, but nonetheless happiness is very much a practice. How does one work on perfecting their happiness habit? By modeling what we feel are the behaviors we’d like to see more of, by removing distractions and temptations for other less-desirable actions (video games, and the candy aisle at the grocery store come to mind), making public displays of happiness a pattern, building the habit one goal at a time, and by being patient. As with all habits, practice makes perfect, and it takes time to build a habit.
Our kids are good kids. Take a few minutes to celebrate the little person you are helping to raise, and marvel in the amazing person you see before you. Yes, they have their flaws. Sure, they can be a little bit annoying every once in a while. Absolutely, they can mar your peace and quiet like no other. But that person is amazing. And they have you in part to thank for it. So, well done. You rock the parenting detail, my friend!