Quick post tonight, stayed up too late editing photos and also recovering from a cold. Fueled by sleep deprivation and vitamin C I give you some lessons that I’ve learned from my 3 year old daughter.
I’m a father of a 3 year old, rambunctious daughter, that for some reason… doesn’t stop from the time she wakes up until we nearly have to force her to sleep. Being a father is fantastic… when they said kids will change your life… well that’s a bit of an understatement. She’s taught me quite a lot these last 3 years she’s been on earth and it’s actually helped me be a better person.
Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
Whenever my daughter stumbles or falls down she enthusiastically shouts “I’m OK!” I don’t know if we accidentally trained her to say this (I guess we asked “are you OK” maybe one too many times), but she says it just about every time she has a wipe-out. Even when we know she’s audibly in pain she just shouts “I’m OK!” sometimes in a pitiful puppy dog way. It’s quite a cute sight! I use this same philosophy to apply to bumps and bruises in my life. For example, just today we “lost” one of our four pet ducks. We think it was either nabbed by a bear or got spooked and flew out of it’s pen. Instead of sulking all day being super depressed, I reminded myself to say “I’m OK” and it put a smile on my face.
Naps are Needed
I think every parent in some form or fashion knows when their child needs a nap. You may see that your child has been acting super emotional and cranky, or even frustrated. My daughter certainly has her cues, and when she hits starts to begin her tantrum, we try to put her down immediately – put her down for nap. (I always found that phrasing “I’m going to put the baby down” funny – in my weird mind I picture someone hunting an elephant sized baby… yeah I’m weird). Sometimes when I get frustrated, I need to settle down and take a nap as well, or at least take myself out of that situation and negative state of mind. Even in adulthood we are prone to tantrums if we aren’t well rested or irritated, physically and emotionally removing yourself from the negative situation will make things better!
A Little Encouragement Goes A Long Way
I try to encourage my daughter to try new things and keep persevering. One day she was playing with some legos and was so frustrated that the legos kept falling. She was trying to build a tower. My wife and I saw this and encouraged my daughter – saying “keep trying, you can do it!” She got really excited and after a couple of stumbles, she eventually built a large tower she was really proud of. It brought us joy seeing her succeed and brought her joy for completing the frustrating task.
Learning from my interaction with my daughter I try to seek some encouragement from others by finding friends that encourage. I get encouragement from my wife as well and those at my church. Encouragement helps me persevere in hard times and motivates me to get better! I always remember that a little encouragement can bring both joy to the encouraged and the encourager, but only if it’s genuine.
Thanks a bunch for reading!