Lifelong Learning

Welcome to the January Carnival of Natural Parenting: Learning from children

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have shared the many lessons their children have taught them. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

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I had a post planned out in my head for this carnival, though I hadn’t found out about it until close to the deadline. And then both my girls got sick and I barely got any time to sit down and actually write. So I changed my plan quite a bit at the last minute. Here are a few things my children have taught me.

Fiona

Flexibility: The ability to change my plans, sometimes at the drop of a hat. Like writing a different blog post when they’re both sick. ;) But also to go with the flow and be flexible if Meredith changes her mind at the last minute and decides she doesn’t want to go for a walk after all. And it extends to broader things like parenting. Both my kids have been so different, and what worked for one of them doesn’t always work for the other, and what works for one of them at one time doesn’t often work for the same one later! That brings me to the next one:

Sisters

Respect: The quote in my header by Dr Seuss sums this one up perfectly: “A person’s a person, no matter how small.” It’s something that I knew, and believed, before I had children, but it really didn’t hit home how true it really is until I had them. Both my kids have their own completely distinct personalities, despite very similar parenting. And while I’d like to think I’ve always had respect for children, I think having my own children that I am with almost 24/7 has made me look at all children a little bit differently. I’m more likely now to pause for a child I don’t know and listen to what they have to tell me, and I mean really listen.

Love at first sight

Love: This one is kind of cliched, but so true. And probably doesn’t need any explanation (especially if your’e a parent already). There is nothing like the love I feel for my kids, and while I was worried when I was pregnant with Fiona that I’d never be able to feel that way twice, it wasn’t difficult at all.

Daddy's girls

Humility: I have learned to eat my words. I know I’m not a perfect parent, and to be honest I’d never want to be. But after Meredith, I thought I had this parenting thing down. Now that I have a completely different child, with different needs, I’ve realized that some of the things that I thought were no-brainers, don’t necessarily hold true for every child. I’ve had to eat my words and do some things I thought I’d never do. Meredith was the model child for AP. She wanted to be carried 24/7 until she was over a year old, hated swings and car seats, was a huge comfort nurser, and at almost 3 1/2 still nurses several times a day most days. It kind of shocked me the first time Fiona actually stopped crying when I put her down for a minute at just a few months old. You mean, some babies actually want to be put down sometimes? She also rarely comfort nurses and doesn’t sleep nearly as well in a carrier as Meredith did. Kris actually had an easier time comforting her at the beginning than I did, because I was used to just sticking Meredith to the boob when she was upset and the world would be right again. It didn’t work for Fiona! Kris was used to not having boobs to fall back on.

Meredith

To stop and smell the roses. This is another somewhat obvious one, but to me one of the most important. I’ve never been one to rush through life, but having children has slowed the pace even more. I think of everything my children have taught me, one of my favourites is to slow down, and see everything through the wonder of a child’s eyes. We’ve learned about different plants and mushrooms and animals together. We’ve learned about Ancient Egypt and mummies and dinosaurs as Meredith becomes interested in these things. I’ve learned to look at the world in a whole new way.

Most of all, they have taught me that we are all life learners, and that anyone and everyone you come across can be a teacher.

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Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

(This list will be live and updated by afternoon January 11 with all the carnival links.)

9 comments to Lifelong Learning

  • ahhhh, yes – to stop and smell the roses. My husband tells me to do this and my daughter does too. Now you’ve reminded me to listen to those who know me best :) thank you!

  • Parenting might be one of the best ways to learn humility ;) Your description of your first and second child makes me wonder how many of my own words I’ll be eating once #2 comes along!

  • My favorite line is at the end — that kids teach us that everyone can learn and anyone can teach. So true. Beautiful girls! Hope they’re all feeling better!

  • Great post! That’s one of my favorite quotes too… A person is a person no matter how small.

  • The pace of life slows down considerably when you’re able to stay home with your children. I feel so lucky in that regard. We have some crazy busy days, but mostly we take each day as it comes, hanging out at home, exploring the hallway again for the millionth time. If I was still teaching, our mornings would be a rush of getting-ready-ness, and the fun parts of the kitchen would go unseen.

    Thanks for a great post :-)

  • Yes, I agree! Great post (especially considering sick kids — I sure know that one well!). The flexibility one is a biggie here too, and I agree about having humility after becoming a parent and then a second time parent — every child is so different!

    I love that Dr Seuss quote too — and want to write it out and post it somewhere as a reminder when I am feeling really frustrated!

  • Amy

    :) Thanks for being flexible in sharing what came to you quickly when you only had a few moments to craft a post. Short and sweet works, too!

    I also have has similar experiences in meeting children in who they are, instead of a particular way of parenting that is supposed to meet the needs of all children. My first nursed for comfort, the second tried and screamed, and the third *only* nursed when hungry.

    I have taken these cues in learning new ways of being with my children, sounds like you have too.

    And yes, love beyond reason and conditions. It is so wonderful to experience.

  • Love the last line.

    And flexibility, and humility. :)

    I enjoyed this whole post — so smooth, honest, simple, and heartfelt.

    Thank you!
    Stacy

  • [...] Lifelong Learning — Lindsay at Living in Harmony has learned that what works for one kid might not work for another. (@AttachedMama) [...]

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“I wonder why so many parents still want to keep their children hidden away in schools, when they could be learning in the wonderful, bright, ever-changing, always-stimulating real world.”
~ Wendy Priesnitz

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