As a parent I feel as if I am always wondering how I am doing with raising my kids. I would only venture to guess that most parents wonder the same thing…how does the world perceive my child?
I know I see a lot of fighting between my two…the bickering and squabbling, the “She did this” and “He did that” and of course Grace yelling “Mooooooooooom!!!!” at the top of her lungs because Michael is “touching me!” This makes it hard to gage how they are when they are with other people, adults and kids alike. Does this pettiness and fighting go on or are they able to put it on hold, keep it in check and act the way you wish they would act at home?
A couple evenings ago, the parent of one of Michael’s friends took both my kids swimming with her two children. Always hesitant, not knowing how this will play out, I gave my two strict orders to mind their manners, play nice, and absolutely NO fighting with each other or anyone else! So after the swim was done and the mom returned my kids, she gave me the rundown on how the kids behaved and what they all did.
And much to my pleasure, she had nothing but praises on how Grace and Michael behaved! She told me how poised Grace was and what a sweet boy Michael is. Now mind you…I do see glimpses of this type of behavior from them occasionally, but to hear this from almost a complete stranger was incredibly heart warming. My husband and I stood there for a moment and simply basked in the sound of it all. Our children, Grace and Michael, poised and sweet…it was like a great warm light had just spun down from the heavens just to shine on the two of them. Our children…those words were said about our children…and how wonderful was that!
Sometimes you never know if what your try to teach your children, the values, good manners and so on, ever make an impression on them. Do they just pay me quiet lip service or do they really understand what is being preached to them. Hearing another parent’s take on your child can sometimes open up a small window for you to peek through, enabling you to truly see the person your child is becoming. In this I think parents are given the opportunity to really see more of the “full picture”of who their child is outside the tiny microcosm of which we live with them.
So my kids do listen and do know how to behave in a polite and appropriate manner…now if I can just get them to act like that at home. Hey…if I can figure out how to get them to do that, I will most certainly let you know!