The Greatest Compliment

The Greatest Compliment

Recently my Grand-babies Mama took on a part time job.  Three days a week, about 9 hours a day.  The girls are almost 3 years and 1 1/2 years old.  The stage of learning independence and wanting to be in control of their own little lives.  Most run from this stage often called the "terrible twos", but I am a weird one, I feel using the term "terrible" while speaking of children sets a label that isn't a nice thing.

My point in even commenting on the stage is because anyone that has raised children know that during these developmental stages, parenting is not for the faint of heart.  Children this age will test you, and grin while doing it.  Pretty sure that is where the saying "you sure are lucky you are cute" came from.  

I studied Child Psychology in college as well as Child Development.  My courses were geared towards wanting to counsel children. I think perhaps because as a child I often felt misunderstood.  As a teenager I struggled with my emotions.  So wanting to pour nothing but love and positivity in to children, I became a  preschool teacher in a daycare setting.  My group was three and four year olds, the stage where we need to take the child that wants independence and show them how to calm those reactions to want their own way to prepare them for school.  The stage where you give them options, but the two options offered are what you as the caregiver can deal with.  This lets them feel in control to some degree, while teaching them how to choose what would be the best for the group, rather than just themselves.  Life is full of choices, teach them early to think of others not just themselves.

I see children as little empty buckets that God hands parents either naturally chosen or chosen through adoption.  He chooses which children will be in your life and he trust you to fill that bucket with nothing but good things.  Messed up adults don't happen by accident, bad things either inflicted by parents, caregivers or other outside forces are usually what caused the issues.  Bad things can change a person, whether it happens as toddlers or as young adults.  Those around a child have the potential to build them up or destroy them.  So many do not realize this when allowed around children.

As a Mom, I took very seriously my tiny blessing God entrusted with me.  I didn't always do things the right way, no perfect mother exist, sometimes I "reacted" rather than pausing and "acting". But I wasn't afraid to say to a child as young as 18 Months, "I am sorry, I shouldn't have raised my voice at you", or "Mommy is having a hard day".  Children learn by what they see.  How we react to everyday stresses, is how they learn to get through the tough times too.  They learn it is ok to be Human when you show them through your actions and words.  They learn it is ok to have a melt down, they are not a bad person for being overwhelmed with emotion.  It is our job as a caregiver to recognize when they need time alone or need extra compassion.  Sometimes it is both, so you gently state, "I am going to leave you alone (make sure child is in safe place or that you are staying close by just refraining from talking to the child or consoling) when you are ready for hugs, you can come to me."  This gives them space to deal with big emotions without being shamed for having them.

To be given the opportunity to be a part of a child's raising whether as a Teacher, Caregiver, or any other family member or friend that spends time with the child, is a big deal.  You are being trusted to help in the raising of a parents most treasured blessing.  Even if you are a family member that only sees the child a few times a year, any one that a parent allows their children around is a influence.  Children are little sponges, they pick up every thing, our words (so watch your mouth) our actions, our mannerisms, our ability to calm ourselves when met with a situation, even how we laugh and enjoy things.

I won't say a name, but a very dear friend of mine has a Grandson who was injured by a caregiver.  Our entire community loves this little guy.  But he isn't the same as he was when he was trusted into a caregivers hands.  It is a huge compliment when a parent trust you with their child.  I cannot imagine the devastation of having that trust broken.  As a side note, His Parents and Family have done a great job helping him overcome any challenges he is left with, and he has made miraculous gains. He has went farther than medical staff thought possible.  Truly God has touched this sweet boy and his family.

To be trusted to be in a child's life is the greatest compliment.  Please don't take it lightly, you are part of what is being put into their bucket, how you treat them, speak to them, interact with them all matter.  It doesn't matter if you only are around the child rarely, if you are around a child AT ALL, please take it seriously.  They are watching you and absorbing it all.  They will believe they are who you make them feel like they are.  Treat them as a pain or a annoyance, they learn they are unworthy of love.

Being allowed these days with my Sweet Grand babies is the greatest compliment.  

I am so blessed to be trusted to be a influence in their lives, I pray that I teach them they are perfect just being who they are. I want to teach them kindness, love, compassion towards others as well as for themselves.  I want to teach them it is ok to be human, to need space, to feel overwhelmed and how to handle all of the emotions that we all feel.  

Most of all I pray they know Jesus loves them, they are his precious children first, how blessed we are all that he entrusted us, he chose them for our family.

The Happy Farm Wife (aka. Greema)


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