My friend and Smarty Mom, Katie, shared this thought provoking list of 10 commandments, written from a child’s perspective, that gave me pause.
I catch myself daily trying to tame the shrew in me that is constantly yelling and correcting and urging and nagging and downright begging my children to do whatever it is that I need them to do that moment.
After reading the list, I asked myself: am I robbing them of small joys and creating expectations that are simply out of whack?
This list is from Dr. Kevin Leman, who is a renowned Christian author and speaker and has written numerous parenting books.
As a mother, I need continual reminders to enjoy and treasure my children so this poignant piece fits the bill and wins a spot on my bathroom mirror.
Your children are “on loan” to you. Everyday, their wings grow a little more and one day they will fly away. Smarties, which commandment really speaks to you?
The 10 Commandments
1. My hands are small; please don’t expect perfection whenever I make a bed, draw a picture, or throw a ball. My legs are short; please slow down so that I can keep up with you.
2. My eyes have not seen the world as yours have; please let me explore safely. Don’t restrict me unnecessarily.
3. Housework will always be there; I’m only little for a short time. Please take time to explain things to me about this wonderful world, and do so willingly.
4. My feelings are tender; please be sensitive to my needs. Don’t nag me all day long (you wouldn’t want to be nagged for your inquisitiveness.) Treat me as you would like to be treated.
5. I am a special gift from God; please treasure me as God intended you to do, holding me accountable for my actions, giving me guidelines to live by, and disciplining me in a loving manner.
6. I need your encouragement to grow; please go easy on the criticism. Remember, you can criticize the things I do without criticizing me.
7. Please give me the freedom to make decisions concerning myself. Permit me to fail so that I can learn from my mistakes. Then someday I’ll be prepared to make the kind of decisions life requires of me.
8. Please don’t do things over for me. Somehow that makes me feel that my efforts didn’t quite measure up to your expectations. I know it’s hard but please try not to compare me with my brothers or sisters.
9. Please don’t be afraid to leave for a weekend together. Kids need vacations from parents just as parents need vacations from kids. Besides, it’s a great way to show us kids that your marriage is very special.
10. Please take me to Sunday School and church regularly, setting a good example for me to follow. I enjoy learning more about God.
Guilty of #8! I find myself saying: OK, if we could all be just a little more like Isabel today – not because she is a favorite, only because she is so good. They will need therapy for life if I keep it up!
Number 3 is my favorite. My mother lived by that rule. She still uses that phrase, and enjoys spending time with the grandchildren.