You and I can learn a lot from our children if we’re willing to listen. But all too often, when our kids point out something we say or do that’s wrong or inappropriate, we discard their comments and, sometimes, even get defensive.
My son and I were in the grocery store. The cashier wasn’t moving as quickly as I wanted. I got a bit impatient. I said, “Do you need some help?” The words I used weren’t so bad. But what was worse, was the condescending tone I used. My son didn’t say anything in the store, but when we got into the car he pointed out how impatient I was with the clerk. My quick defensive response would have been to say, “I was not, they were just being slow and not doing their job well.” Instead, I caught myself and said, “You’re right, I was impatient and shouldn’t have talked down to the person like that.” I then told my son to always let me know when I’m impatient with someone. At that point, I probably should have gone back into the store to apologize to her, but I didn’t think about it as I was being humbled by my son!
When you exceeded the speed limit, did your child ask you why you were in such a rush? Did they call you on the carpet when you lied about their age at the movie theatre just to get a cheaper ticket? Or, what about when you were rude to the waitress…did they sheepishly ask you why?
From that point on I have been working on how to be more patient. I’m still a work in progress but I have learned a lot since that grocery trip with my son. There are 3 things that matter when practicing patience. Do you know them?
That day I also realized how much my children are watching me. It was a reminder to always strive to be the best role model for them. Along with patience, I have tried to instill these 5 manners into them through my personal example.
Are you listening to your children? What have you learned from them? Please share your comments with me.