On our way to the park one day, my two-year-old daughter slowed down to help me with the stroller her five-month-old brother was riding in. She walked alongside it, seemingly directing our way and making sure we weren’t heading off course.
Really she just kept walking in front of the wheel causing us to stumble every few feet, oh well.
She kept telling me to, “Be careful mommy,” in a very concerned and sincere tone.
I thought to myself, “I’ve GOT this kid.” — I AM the adult in this situation despite what you may think sometimes.
But it didn’t end there. In fact, most days my daughter at some point or another will remind me about being careful.
Then I started reflecting on my daily conversations with her and I realized I use, “Be careful” A LOT.
“Please be careful on the stairs honey.”
“Be careful hon; try not to kill your brother today.”
“You’ve got to be more careful next time cutie.”
“Be careful; balancing on a chair probably isn’t the best idea but what do I know?”
“Be careful with the cat, he’s not your personal toy. If you pull his tail he will probably bite you and it’s not his fault."
My overly cautious nature is nothing new, but the extent of it is really impressive when you hear it on playback from someone who is just learning about the world.
You see, as I’ve come to learn, having children has helped me draw two VERY important conclusions… Well okay there have been a TON more conclusions drawn, but these are my two for this week.
One: Children are picking up on everything we (anyone they come in contact with) are doing and saying and although they do develop their own unique personalities, they are definitely influenced by notable figures in their life.
So if you act like a jerk, why would you expect any less from your child?
I even read somewhere that a child of two can understand MOST of what you are talking about. They just don’t have the language skills to carry on a completely detailed conversation — well maybe some do.
And two: If you’ve ever wondered how ‘people’ view your personality traits, demeanour, etc., hang out with a child for a little while. It can be like looking in a really small, adorable mirror.
I obviously can’t change myself that much at this point (nor do I want to). That ship has sailed ladies and gentlemen.
But I can use the wake up call from my daughter to edit HOW I react or respond to situations where my personality, beliefs and biases may take over (and not in the most useful way).
— Becky Mann is a 30-something, red haired, mother of two, trying to navigate this life as best she can. She enjoys talking to people and discovering their stories. Still trying to balance her personal and professional life, she juggles work and play. In her spare time Becky can be found visiting with friends, spending time with her family and saving time by reading while walking. She knows there is so much more to come and is looking forward to the continued adventure.