During the school year I would enter my house to the sounds of kids running up to me, excitement taking over the atmosphere. Often they would both be talking to me at the same time, telling me some event of the day that has been held captive in their worlds, waiting for daddy to come home so they could free the experience to me. Sometimes I heard "good" news; sometimes it was "bad" news.
Good news consisted of a day with a friend, a milestone that they had "hit", or a discovery they had made. Bad news usually consisted of a "bad" choice they made, a "bad" choice someone else has made, or an experience that happened during the time I was gone that resulted in some kind of pain.
I would react equally to either form of news with the intention of not glorifying either. Good and bad are judgements we place on an event. I want my children to focus on the event first, reflect on the event (as much as toddler can reflect), and decide who they are going to be in relation to that event. I try to remain neutral to the event, allowing them to express their thoughts about it.
Not easy. I often find myself making judgmental statements about the event. I'm getting better, but it is a hard road to travel.
After hearing of the event, I ask them questions to get them to think about the event. I try to teach them how we, as a family, would like to view the event, either in a 'good" light or "bad" light. Either way, I try to direct them to find out how they were being in relation to the event.
Summer is here. The time for them to talk with me has expanded. I am more available to them. They are becoming accustomed to "Summer Daddy" and I to "Summer Children". I've noticed something thus far.
"Good" vs. "Evil".
They work so hard at picking out the experiences based on an event. They are deciphering the "good" experiences of an event and the "bad" experiences of the event. They talk about both. They make decisions about both. They relate the events to present circumstances, and then talk about it some more.
They are forming their relationship with the world. They are deciding who and what to be in relation to the events that occur within their existence. A delicate road for them to travel and for us to lead them down.
I've noticed Henry is developing a conscience. I've reprimanded him before and all I got was resistance and oppositional behavior (gee--imagine that!)...basically an "I don't really understand what you are telling me, nor do I care right now" attitude. But lately he has changed~
He stops his behavior and looks down. He quiets himself and retreats inward. He gives a pouty lip and his shoulders sink. His conscience is speaking to him; and it's using Lindsay and my voices as its vehicle.
A delicate time for Henry.
When we see this we approach him with kindness and gentleness, stroking his hair and putting words into his conscience. Reviewing the situation from his point of view yet adding a touch of empathy. It's a delicate dance we do with our children, a dance that they will step to for the rest of their lives.
I know that children teach us as much as we teach them; the difference is that they teach us not only through themselves, but through us as well. They keep us grounded in our beliefs...helping us to make the best choices we can in this "good" vs. "evil" world.