Really, I mean Really!
Think about it for a minute, your daughter at three.... Yep! Now you're with me. She is sitting in the middle of the couch in the living room. She looks kinda like a mob figure, so small in the middle of the big blue couch. She looks at me and with her right hand pats the couch next to her motioning me to sit. Ok, I think, this should be interesting. And she paused... I gotta admit, I was starting to worry a little.
And then slowly and with intention the following was spoken,
"The good Dads do the following........"
Two thoughts caught me here, One was "Excuse Me!", the other was "Wow, MY daughter is cool". All the while she was running a list of things that she thought I could do to improve my performance rating in her eyes.
All the drama and parenting issues aside, she had some good points and her thought process was well thought out. In retrospect, I could have missed this moment and told her, "How dare you small child..." but in a moment of clarity I listened. And in those next few minutes she articulated exactly how to parent her going forward. In my opinion, I may have learned more about her that day than any other.
Sometime in life wisdom literally comes from the mouthes of babes. And sometimes the simplest of these should not be ignored. Last Sunday I joined the three year olds during the service and had a blast. They were welcoming and invited me to join them and participate in the art project. I learned a great deal about them and their families and how they were being raised just by coloring and talking. Coloring is the lost art of community. I discovered that the proper way to color is to periodically look at the others artwork on your table and compliment their effort. A little progression and praise and then a little more and praise. Praising people as they go is a great way to get results and performance growth.
Back to my daughter, she grew up a little and continues to use those same skills as she has turned into a pretty good debater. Good enough that if she wants it could pay for college. I wonder if our little talk had much to do with her success. And if it's ok with you, I'm just going to pretend that it did.