10 Shocking Observations about Your Children (from a Teacher’s Point of View)
I may not be a parent, but in the past five years of teaching I’ve noticed some tendencies in the majority of my students. I’ve always wondered if parents knew these things about their children. I know that in the midst of busyness and trying to parent your kids as best you can, it’s easy to lose focus on how amazing these children are, and even more so, how amazing they think YOU are. So here is a list of some observations I’ve made about children and how they view their parents (you).
1. They take pride in what you pride yourself on.
I often hear kids say things like, “my mom is good at math so I am too!” or “my dad and I love history.” Sports, music, traveling, etc. – if you love it, chances are pretty good your kid will enjoy them too. If you want your child to have the same successes as you, communicate with them about your strengths, and find interests that you can both share. On the flip side, I want to encourage you to be careful about how you describe your weaknesses. They are very quick to use your struggles to justify struggles they may have. If you notice your child has a similar weakness as you, work on improving it with them, instead of passing it off as ‘just the way you are.’
2. You are their safe place.
Every now and then, kids will get their feelings hurt at recess or they’ll feel sick, nervous, etc. and they will need some extra attention. Not in every instance – but in many – they will want to talk to their mom or dad. You’re usually who they think of first when they feel sad or upset. You provide a comfort for them that very few others have the ability to provide.
3. They act like you!
This may not be a surprise to any, but I am always fascinated when I get to see or talk with parents. Even your most subtle mannerisms are picked up and imitated by your kids.
4. They want to impress you.
I love watching kids’ faces when they hear me, or somebody else, complimenting them to you. Usually they look at you expectantly with a smile, or beaming in a way that says “Yay! I’m making my parents proud!” I have had many students who can’t wait to bring even the most minor assignment home just so they can show you how well they did!
5. The phrase ‘do what I say and not what I do’ doesn’t go very far.
Sure, you can probably find a way to scare them into making certain choices, but the second they are free to make their own decisions, they will do what has been modeled. They’re smart, and very observant! If you want your child to act a certain way, the best way to get them to believe you are serious about it is to act that way yourself.
6. They’re deep.
They like to have conversations about life, the news, God, history, friendships, etc. These topics come up because they want to talk about it, not because I bring them up! See what happens when you ask your kids a deep question. They may be young, but their minds are incredible!
7. They can be taught compassion.
Kids have HUGE hearts. When they start to learn what it feels like to serve other people, they get hooked. Exposing them to opportunities where they can show kindness to others will instill that quality early on, causing them to be the type of person that can change the world!
8. They are loyal to you.
Even if you are a foot shorter than another kid’s dad, your kid will be convinced you will dominate him in a basketball game. Even if you can’t tell a joke worth your life, your child will think you are the funniest. Despite what you can or cannot offer your child, they think you are the coolest adult alive.
9. They can hear you.
They might seem clueless sometimes but they do hear [and oftentimes understand] what you are saying… Enough said :)
10. They see the good in you more than you see the good in yourself.
They will relay a ‘funny’ joke you told them. They will choose you when asked to write about their hero. They talk about the times they get to spend with you, not about the times they don’t. They don’t focus on your shortcomings, mistakes, or negative experiences because that’s not how they see you. Even in those moments you feel like you have failed them, your kids still think the world of you. So have grace for yourself, and continue to love your kids and parent them as best as you know how. Chances are pretty good that you’re doing a better job than you realize!