I’m sure you heard the expression that children are like sponges. They just soak in everything they hear and see. I don’t know about you, but that is certainly true in my house! That is one of the main reasons that we, as parents, try so hard to monitor the movies, music and people are kids are exposed to.
An interesting thing my kids have taught me recently about sponges is that it really does mean everything. Including you, and how you treat them. My first sign was when I began watching my daughter play with baby dolls. She immediately would cuddle and kiss and soothe them. She would cry for them (too cute!) and then rush to comfort them. I have also seen her scold and spank them. (That moment I needed a hole to crawl into! It makes me laugh now, though!)
She is surprisingly gentle and loving with her sister. She likes to play mommy most of the time and is always looking for K’s cup or snack when she gets her own. I say surprising because of all the wonderful stories I have heard about sibling rivalry!
This morning, she tucked me back into bed, kissed my forehead and whispered “Night, Ma.”
It surprised me as well as touched my heart. And that was when I realized something: she was imitating me. All this time when I have felt like the worst, most awful parent who is often too busy to play with her kids, or too tired to give them baths, she has been absorbing the good parts of me. When she “parents” her dolls, she is showing me the kind of parent she thinks I am. And more often than not, she is loving, concerned, and affectionate. Not too shabby, seeing yourself through those eyes!
So whenever you are feeling frustrated or down and out about a bad week, remember that you have such an important job. And everything awesome that your kids do, whether that be sharing with friends or making others laugh you had something to do with that!