Don’t you love being pleasantly surprised by your children? Let’s face it. Most of the time we are surprised by being shocked or mortified by their behavior. Things like removal of their diaper at inopportune times, opinions on the look or dress of others shouted loudly in public places, tantrums thrown at the grocery store. I think you get the picture. You are cringing right now as your own memory pops into your head.
Last week I had the pleasure of hearing something wonderful about my youngest from his preschool teacher. One of his fellow preschool friends got upset the week before and started to cry. My little guy ventured over and told the teacher he knew just what to do. He patted Ethan on the back and started making silly faces. Ethan started to calm down. Pretty soon the teacher had the whole class doing silly things to cheer him up.
The power of imitation is truly limitless. I would love to say I was the one to teach my little man this trick, but he actually learned it from his big brother. From the time my youngest was really little my oldest would break out the silly antics when his little brother would get hurt or sad. The tears would pass quickly and I would be so grateful.
When I put my oldest to bed that night I told him the story about preschool and I thanked him for being such a good example for his brother. He beamed from ear to ear and has made a few comments about it since then. Kids love to be praised, and my compliments help to ensure that he will continue to come to his brother’s rescue.
This scenario is also a reminder to me to be the change I want to see in my children. They watch us far more than we realize. Be sure to dish out a healthy dose of praise today.