When Caleb goes to AWANA's on Wednesday nights, once a month he will go to the AWANA Store to pick out something, paying for it with the "bucks" he's earned by attending each week (wearing his vest, reciting his verse, bringing his bible, etc). It makes my heart smile each time he comes home and says, "I picked this out for Gabriel, Mom!" or "I found this for Sarah!"
Every time he will get something for his brother and sister. Every time.
The first few times he did this, I thought to myself, "Where did he learn to be so thoughtful?" I know we as parents like to take credit for absolutely everything. We tend to pat ourselves on the back for all accomplishments including if our children are thoughtful or humble - I guess they don't learn humbleness from us if we are boastful about them, huh? :o)
For some reason I've been thinking lately about how we tend to take credit for their own personalities. Got an easy-going child? Got a thoughtful child? Got a gentle-natured child? Or a humble one? Maybe most if not all of those traits are just their traits. I'm not saying we have nothing to do with that (genetics you know...ha!) but I guess I'm just going to start trying to let go of the idea that it's all because of something I did. Because too often I think parents are proud of their child...not necessarily because of something the child did...but because they are proud of themselves because they think they had everything to do with it.
What about parents who have strong-willed or...let's be honest...a more difficult child? Should they feel horrible and think it's something they did wrong? I really don't think so. I just think it's a personality trait. Yes, I think being difficult can be a trait. I believe as parents we must somehow redirect that type of trait so that it doesn't grow. Likewise, if a child is thoughtful, we should nurture that trait and hope it does grow!
I love Caleb's thoughtful trait. I cannot take credit for it, it's just his. And I will do my best to nurture it. Because it's a wonderful trait to have.
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