The lessons from my kids just keep coming. My youngest turns 30 this year, and I am continually surprised and delighted by what they have to say and how they have improved upon what their dad and I taught them. This morning, I sat down and brainstormed a list of the wisdom and richness they’ve brought to my life.
- How to keep house in a tornado. Which was the general condition of our home when they were kids. Now that we have an intergenerational living arrangement with our daughter’s family, our grandkids create tornadoes whenever they visit our part of the house. Thanks to my tornado training, I can keep up with them–most of the time.
- How to foster creativity and individual uniqueness. My kids taught me that fostering creativity requires only a few key ingredients: time to mess with art supplies, tape, blank paper, scissors; imaginative time with dress up clothes; reading books together; time for Legos, Lincoln Logs, and blanket forts; time alone to think and imagine; and time outside to explore and get dirty. Both kids had access to these ingredients, and their individual uniquenesses emerged as they gravitated to the ones that piqued their interests. The same pattern is emerging with our grandkids. Warning! This strategy will result in a house that looks like it was hit by a tornado.
- What matters to kids is different than what matters to adults. My kids often talk about their favorite childhood memories and what events impacted them profoundly. Usually their fondest recollections spring, not from planned events like vacations or big, but from little things–songs we sang in the car, the radio shows playing while we cleaned house and folded laundry on Saturdays, the stories their dad told at bedtime, and learning to cook simple meals.
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