From the Mouths of Babes

My daughter and I love to cuddle up in my bed and watch angsty teenage dramas on MTV. It’s totally my guilty pleasure. Some of the characters make me crazy, and I love to hate them. How can someone be so shallow! How can someone be so stupid!

And then my daughter called me out.

“Mom, I don’t understand how you can do the work that you do when you are so judgemental and bitter towards people!”

She’s right. If any one of these characters were to walk into my office in real life, I would search to understand where they were coming from. I would try to help them develop the skills they need to navigate their lives more effectively.

Now, you may say that the TV characters I love to hate are not part of the real world, and that there’s no problem with letting loose on imaginary people.

But when I look at my daughter, I just count my lucky stars that somehow she has managed to grow into such a compassionate and caring person in spite of her mother’s periodic ranting about stupid people. Obviously, her childhood was not completely filled with hatred and judgement. But this has got me thinking about what we model for our kids.

What do you say about the guy who cuts you off in traffic?

What do you say about the clerk who is checking out your groceries at a speed slower than molasses?

What do you say about your spouse when they have pounced on your last nerve?

Do you live what you say you believe in?

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Remember The Big Stuff

This time of year always makes me take a step-back and evaluate the big things in life. We take time away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, and instead of getting grumpy and annoyed with one another, we are thankful for the things that we have and the people in our lives.

It’s so easy to forget the big picture and get caught up in details.

I heard a story this week of a young girl who came home from school upset because of the comments of her teacher. They were doing an assignment about goals and dreams, and she had written in her assignment that one of her goals was to play hockey for Team Canada someday. Her teacher marked this wrong, and explained to her that the difference between goals and dreams is that goals are things that can actually happen, whereas dreams are things that aren’t realistic.

I don’t for a moment think that this teacher’s intention was to crush this student. But getting caught up in the small details of word definitions caused her to lose sight of what is really important.

This holiday season, please take the time to step back and pay attention to the things that really count! We can all be a little kinder to one another, and feel more fortunate when we remember the blessings we have.

Have a wonderful holiday!