Inspired by Parenting magazine's Shawn Bean in this month's Pop Culture page I decided to ask my own kids what life lessons they think I have taught them. Bean, a father of 2 boys, asks his oldest, "What's the most helpful thing I've ever told you?"....his son replies, "Go poop at school."
So, while my daughter was in the bathtub I asked the boys what life lessons they've learned from me. After R got out of the bath, I asked her, even though she was in the middle of a "watch me!" moment with her baton. I was pretty stoked that some of the important things stuck but who knows what tomorrow will bring.
When I asked Tyler...who will be 12 in just a few short weeks!....I was expecting some silly stuff like, you taught me not to pick my nose in public or only pee outside when no one's looking. Don't get me wrong, I got some of those but mostly I'm just glad they listen to me when it counts.
Here are their responses:
Ummm.....you taught me, you know....equal rights and stuff (score! pre-teen listens to equality speeches)
To be proud of my body
Be nice to others
To chill out (wasn't aware this was a life lesson, but if you lived with me one day, you would understand)
To play with bugs
NOT to pull my pants down at school (this stemmed from a kindergarten "dare" incident...nice, I know....I get the whole body pride irony, ha.ha.)
Never start a fight
How to read and write
Not to hit a girl
be nice to animals
Then, I asked Griffin who is 4 years old...."Hey, Buddy, what has Mommy taught you that helps you?"
His response was.....
and to go potty
seeing as though I don't know karate, that's pretty darn good!
Then came Rhys with her baton twirling and her bedtime outfit on (yes, an outfit she picked out to sleep in but not from her pajama drawer) and a routine planned out to show me. So, when I asked her, "Is there anything in life that I've taught you so far that has been really helpful"..well, she was just plain annoyed that I intruded in her own little twirler half time show.
Her response was....
To be a Christian
and then after some more thought...and annoyance she said......"you haven't even taught me anything, I don't think. What are you doing anyway?"
OOF! Punch to the gut! Okay, so, I get it, I know I have taught this child things. I've taught her how to sit like a lady, how to do "frog flips" on the trampoline, how to pour "tea" into cups...repeatedly when she was 2, how to braid, how to curl her tongue....but at that moment she taught me a life lesson....
Every girl needs her moment....back off.
Stop by Parenting magazine and check out some of their wonderful articles. It might be a short magazine, but it gets to the point.