Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Children Are Not Timeless

What a great lesson my stake was taught in Stake Conference. I don't even really know how to put into words the feeling I felt in my heart and the desire I had to be a better mother.

One of the many thoughts that I had while listening to the talk was that "Children are not timeless." With my love of definitions I have pulled two definitions of the word timeless to explain these beginning thoughts:

1 - Children are not "unaffected by time"

One of the many things emphasized was that of spending time with our children. One line that so profoundly hit me was this (in my words), "Many of us spend the beginning years of our children's lives ignoring them. It is no surprise that when they become teenagers that they return the favor and begin ignoring us." We all chuckled, but isn't it so true?

Throughout this talk many of the early LDS commericials were shown. Doesn't this first video perfectly show the affect that time and attention truly have on our children?:

For now just watch the first video (Sorry, I couldn't find the commercials by themselves).

2 - Children are not "ageless or unchanging"

The idea that our two year old will only be two for so long was a reminder that needed to heard. Our children are not ageless. They are two once and they are fifteen once. I know that I often look forward to the next stage or phase when I should be enjoying the here and now.

Another idea mentioned was that our children are not unchanging; they are always changing. And I loved this idea: A 15 or 16 year old girl may be moody and it may be just a part of that age or stage and we shouldn't make a big deal out of it. Or our 2 year old may throw tantrums and it is just a part of that stage and we shouldn't make a big deal out of it.

Each age and stage brings something new and often we make it into something bigger than it is. Children are not ageless or unchanging. We need to let our children be in each stage and make changes and embrace it rather than try to hurry through it. I loved that.

Our Words

Now with all of that said, oh what a powerful message he gave of the importance of our words. He talked of the importance of our words all together but also of how respond to each child depending on their age or stage.

For example, your toddler tries to get himself his own bowl of cereal and dumps the whole box all over the table. How do you respond? Quickly. Harshly. Unkindly. Or do you think before you act or speak and try to understand what your toddler might have been thinking, "Mom, I was just trying to get breakfast all by myself. I was hungry and you were busy so I thought I'd try and then." This was such an "aha" moment for me. We need to notice intentions. We need to notice each individual and their age or stage. We need to guard our words.

Once again he played this great commercial for us which shows the great effect our words have on our children.

- Scroll forward in the video and watch from 3:53 to 4:56.

After watching that first video now watch the great reponse this mother has to her son because she thinks first of his age or stage and what is real intentions were. I am sure we all could learn from this.

- Now go back up to the video screen and scroll to the time - 5:30 and watch until 6:30

I don't think I did this talk justice but I hope that you even partially sensed the important nature and powerful message that this talk emitted. It was perspective changing.

I know that our roles as parents are eternal and divine in nature. I know that our children are Children of God. I love my little boy and I already love my little one on the way. They are precious, innocent, and Christ-like. But I sometimes need to be reminded of this. I think we all need to remind ourselves and remind ourselves often.

We indeed can learn from our children as we strive to be more like them. Just as Mosiah 3:19 says, "become as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father."

Let us remember the importance of time. Let us remember the importance of our words. Let us remember that we have much to learn from our children. Let us remember that our children are Children of God.

1 comment:

Stephanie said...

Oooh, that ignoring part is deep. Made me think twice, and will probably continue to do so. Thanks.