I wanted to write a follow-up post to a guest post from Michael Nichols yesterday entitled, “Non-negotiables of a Healthy Family”. Raising a family is one of the hardest, yet most rewarding, things an adult will ever do. Children view things from a much different vantage point than we do as adults. Not only are they physically shorter, they have far less experiential knowledge, too. Just because we are chronologically older than they are does not mean we are mentally superior to them in every way. We may know the ways of the world, but our viewpoints are also tainted by the input of experiences whether good or bad. See an earlier post: Parents are the Problem.
Children on the other hand look at things in a much different light.
1- Children see the good in you.
They look at you for who you “could” be or “should” be, and think that is who you really are. They do not yet realize how bad someone can really be so their mind sees you as they imagine you to be. They believe you are making decisions in their best interest, so they completely trust you.
2- Children see you without all the baggage.
They can’t see all the hurt and damage caused by bad decisions and experiences of life. Since they have not yet developed a long-term memory, there is not a mental dictionary to explain all of your “adult” problems. They look at you with pure, unfiltered eyes.
3- Children see you as who they want to become.
They see you bigger than life. They see you as perfect and mature. They are watching your every move and mimic you in every way. All they know, they are learning from you. You are teaching them how to have a home, how to handle money, how to treat other people, and even a work ethic. You are their hero, good or bad.
The next time you start to make a decision look at it through the eyes of a child. I just heard Governor Tim Pawlenty say, “Getting a tattoo…it seemed good at the time, but one day you will have to explain it to your children.” One day we will have immature children who become mature adults. They will see us for who we “really are”, not for who they “thought we were.”