Good morning and thanks so much for joining me again this morning. If you didn’t get a chance to read yesterday’s blog, you might want to go back and read that first, otherwise today’s thoughts might not make much sense. I want to pick up where we left off yesterday… a young mom and her two year old, in the sandbox, sharing his toys with a group of older kids. I guess it would be more accurate to say, giving up his toys to a group of older kids. I hope you’ve given some thought to the principles at play here as well as the practical ways you might handle this situation. My guess is, if you’ve been parenting for any length of time, you’ve run into a similar situation with your own kids. Here are some things that I try to consider in these circumstances:
- One of my standard teachings when we are group parenting is if everyone is parenting and paying attention to their own children, everyone gets along.
- Generally, we want to teach our children that people are more important than things. We value human relationships more than anything else.
- We train our children to be servant leaders i.e. when there are younger, special needs, or senior citizens around, we expect them to be tuned into caring, honoring and serving them. They have grown up with the trigger: If it’s not fun for everyone, it’s not fun!!
- This may be a wonderful opportunity to model good teaching. As a young mother I was always happy to step into those situations and speak in a happy, strong voice about how we were going to play together. Many are fearful of that today, but that seems to be even more of a reason to teach others how to gently, but confidently help others parent.
- Phrases like,” OK, let’s all trade a toy with the next person” or I think he is asking for a turn with that toy” or “Everyone has 5 more minutes to play and then we will share it with someone who does not have something to play with”. Kids (and adults) are selfish by nature and us parents yearn for time at the park to relax while our children are happily playing. Sometimes we want a break and we are not tuned in to what is happening right in front of us. What amuses me is when the injustice is directed toward your child, all of a sudden, parents are back engaged!!
The reason that seemed to work is I was equally or harder on my own children with these principles so others could see I was about everyone having fun. And you know, in all those years, I can’t remember a parent getting mad at me for that!!
The big picture principle is this: Before we get irritated and frustrated with other parents, please hear their story! And yes, I know, you came to the park to have some fun, quality time with your children. But what if God, in His sovereignty, had something else in mind? What if, for such a time as this, He placed you there for that one parent or that child in the sandbox?
These are my favorite things to share about because when we stop and think, it is never as simple as, “I just wish people would manage their own kids in the sandbox”. Please don’t miss the walk in business in the sandbox or anywhere else life may lead you!!! Big Blessings….Kelli