Parenthood is such a funny thing.

We go into it thinking that we’re the one who teaches our kids, but oftentimes, we’re the ones that learn from them.

We certainly do teach our children many things, but I have found that my kids are a fountain of wisdom, if only I would stop and really listen to them. With the frenetic pace of modern life, managing a job and a house and a relationship (and possibly even a social life), I tend to tune our kids out and listen with only one ear while I’m doing something else entirely.

This week, I was reminded of a couple of different conversations with my children. Each time, I walked away just in total awe of the wise words that came out of their mouths. Now, that’s not to say that I took the words to heart right away (sometimes a seed takes a while to sprout), but I did revisit the conversations later, as incidents in my life brought the wisdom of children home to me.

3 Life Lessons I Learned From My Kids:

  • I can do it all by myself. I can see that I’ve spent many years saying the same exact thing and not knowing when to ask for help. Maybe that’s a guy-thing. My 3 year-old says this all the time, and for the most part, we let her. That’s how she learns. And when she asks for help, she gets it. If only I could ask for help sooner, and stop banging my head against the wall so much…
  • It’s not about the flavor, it’s about the chewing. My 10 year-old has a thing for Glee gum (it’s the only gum she is allowed to have, and we have to ration it or it all gets chewed in one day). One day I asked her if there was anything that she didn’t care for in our parenting, and she brought up the gum issue. She said, “Mama tells me to spit it out when the flavor is gone, but I like just chewing it.” I found myself thinking about that when I had an issue with just wanting to be done with a project. I was so focused on the end result (the flavor), that I wasn’t enjoying the process (the chewing). Again, maybe it’s a guy thing… I tend to look at results and “achievables” and I can get frustrated with any process that has no clear goal. When I think of this conversation, I’m reminded to enjoy the whole thing, to be present.
  • Someday never comes. Yes, just like the Creedence Clearwater Revival song. When I tell my youngest that we can finish building with blocks tomorrow, she just looks at me like I’m nuts (Tomorrow? Forget that. Let’s do it now.) How many times have I put something off until tomorrow, only to never get back to it? Ummm… Countless times. Now I’m trying to remember to not put off ’til tomorrow what I can do today. Cliché, I know, but it really does make sense.

Image: fdecomite at Flickr under Creative Commons License

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