As a parent, I always think I’m the one who is supposed to be the teacher in my household. The other day, I was reminded that my children can teach me just as much, if not more sometimes, as I can teach them.
Yesterday morning was less than delightful in our home. Nothing too amazing, just a typical tantrum over the frustrations of getting dressed. It was silly, really! But I realize looking back that while I might have thought it was silly, for my child, it was huge. I get so wrapped up in trying to teach them what matters and what doesn’t in the grand scheme of things, that I forget that they don’t always see beyond each moment. Maybe they’re better at living in the moment than I am? Maybe sometimes I need to stop and realize that for them, this is a defining moment. The moment they need to be given the help they are asking for or shown the compassion and empathy they are seeking rather than being told “It’s fine,” or “Just let it go and move on.”
Looking back at the tantrum, I had wished I hadn’t tried to use it as a teaching moment, teaching patience or perseverance through struggle. I wished I had just shown my daughter that I am there for her and if my children ask for help, I’ll come if I can.
Later in the afternoon, while driving home from school, I pointed out some of the ways the tantrum had affected the whole family. As I was making the comment I even wondered what my point was in sharing this information and again, wished I had just let this tantrum go. When we got home, my daughter, handed me the note you see in the picture. “We are sorry about what happened this morning. Can you please forgive?” As I held back the tears I thanked her for the note and asked her to forgive me too. I couldn’t believe the power of seeing that apology on paper. I was taken aback at how it impacted me so much more than a verbal apology. On top of that, she wasn’t asked to say she was sorry, she wrote this letter on her own accord.
So, I’m left learning the power of forgiveness from my daughter. I’m left with the impression on my heart of the impact of a hand-written apology note. Hopefully I’ll take this lesson as a teaching moment for myself and remember this as an option next time I need to ask someone for forgiveness.
What are some lessons your children have taught you?
Copyright 2015 Courtney Vallejo
Photo Copyright 2015 Courtney Vallejo. All Rights Reserved