Children are different in many ways from their adult counterparts. Do you remember your own childhood? The endless possibilities, the limitless daydreams… Children approach the world with a wonder and delight that we often forget to allow into adult life.
That doesn’t go to say that children are completely oblivious to the adult struggle. Even though they may not completely understand our ways, their ears pick up every exchanged word. Their little eyes see the things we may not intend to show them.
It’s very common for a child to assume blame for any misgiving they have in life. We are constantly teaching children with praise and discipline. In truth, it really shouldn’t come as a surprise that children would look upon a conflict they can’t understand and resort to filtering through to find “good” or “bad” actions.
A child will always look to find something that they may have done to cause a negative outcome, even when it is clear that they were in no way at fault. This is why it is up to the adults in their lives to work to set an example.
It is our job as role models in their lives to show them how to handle any situation that may come up in their lives. We stand as the building blocks that help them develop their own relationships. We are the image that they will call up in their minds in time of weakness and fear. In these difficult times we must ensure that the image they call upon will be an image of strength, and compassion.
No matter how difficult the world may be, no matter what we must face in this life – little eyes are always watching. There are no secrets in a home with children. There is no closed door thick enough to prevent a child from soaking in hidden tensions.
When little eyes are watching, and little ears are listening- it is important to be mindful always. In the midst of an argument, maybe those few nasty words seem like the best option. They will certainly be gratifying to you to use. To exclaim a self justified statement aimed to break down your opponent seems the perfect revenge for your hurt feelings.
I ask you to take a moment to evaluate those words thought the ears of a child. Would you want them to repeat those words in their own mind? To fear that particular form of judgement in their day to day life? Would you say it to them, again and again?
We don’t call childhood the formative years lightly. Everything you hear as a child, everything you see – becomes a part of your future in some way. The scars created in youth last long into our adulthood, and they aren’t easily healed or covered. Some day, this moment of weakness you had will be a moment that they too will share.
This is why I don’t take lightly to those who abandon children. To walk away from a child is to tell them that you no longer believe they matter. Daytime shows are full of children who cannot believe in their own worth, solely because of one person’s selfish decision. In the moment that you walk away, and each one to follow it- you hamper their ability to relate to every person who enters their life from that day forward.
Although we are made to believe that toxic people can be replaced, that believe is the result of our adult lives hardening us. As a child, however- the people in your world are so much more than that. When you are a child, each person you meet is a potential example for behaviour. Every person is their own style guru, their own brand of expert. Each person is a building block in their own foundation as an adult. They carry that with them through every struggle, every challenge. Would you choose to be a burden on their back, or a part of their foundation? Will you be a trouble they must carry with them forever, or the wall they lean on to draw their strength to go on? The choice is yours, and yours alone.
You teach them in every moment, their value in life. It is our role as role models to show them how precious they are, and how important they are. No matter the barrier, no matter the struggle; we must put them first above all else. They deserve no less than that, and yet so much more.