Last year, I wrote a blog post for my business blog. It is still appropriate for 2015. Based on inspiration from E, this is how I want to start the New Year and how I hope to adjust my “adult” outlook on life.
1. He accepts correction and makes changes based on them
He doesn’t distance himself from you because you discipline him. Instead, he uses the correction to make a change. He remembers that negative actions produce negative responses and the next time he’s tempted to do something inappropriate; he stops and thinks before he acts (most of the time). Imagine the heartache we would save ourselves if we embraced this simple concept of discipline and correction.
2. Every day is a new day filled with possibilities
At the end of every day he can’t wait for tomorrow. He often asks me, “What are we going to do tomorrow?” Even the simplest answer causes him to say, “That might be fun.” Every day is a day to explore and learn and meet new people. He never dreads tomorrow because he knows that he’s going to have so much fun he won’t want it to end. What would happen if we went to bed every night looking forward to tomorrow?
3. The littlest things bring him joy
Wrestling on the couch, watching a new cartoon, playing at the playground or even reading a new book bring him the greatest joy. Laughter is his second language and he uses it freely and unashamedly. It’s not uncommon for him to laugh at the silliest of things and find amusement in something one of the dogs does. When we become adults, we forget to laugh and find the joy in life. For a 3-year old, it’s second nature.
4. He lives for today
My grandson has no concept of time. He’s having a birthday tomorrow (which is 9 months away). He went to his grandmother’s yesterday (which was months ago). Time for him is in the here and now. He looks forward to events with anticipation, but the happenings of today are what consume his life. He’s not bogged down in the past and doesn’t live in the future. He’s happy just to watch a Hot Wheels car go round and round on a track. There is adventure and wonder in every moment of the day.
5. He doesn’t hold a grudge
Three year olds don’t hold grudges. He may remember being hurt, but he doesn’t hold on to the hurt. If you scold him or punish him, it’s over with a hug and an “I’m sorry”. If he does something wrong and apologizes, he expects and should get unconditional forgiveness. Somewhere along the line, adults forget that forgiveness is something we all crave and something we should all give freely.
6. He can find something each day to be thankful for
At the end of the day, his parents ask him, “What was your favorite part of today?” Granted, it’s usually the last thing he did, but reminds him that every day can hold a blessing if you reflect on it. He has started asking us when we put him to bed, “What was YOUR favorite part of the day?” This is how you focus on the positive and leave the negative behind.
In 2015, let’s take a page from my grandson’s book. It will help you be a better parent and change the relationship you have with your teenager. Happy New Year!