Children become what they live. When they are impacted by positive, productive and principled people they are most likely to become such. What an amazing opportunity we have to influence the ones who are so precious to us. I speak not only of our kids, but our kid’s kids! Those grandchildren we have a bond to from birth causing overwhelming joy that also impacts our lives greatly.
We are raising our grandson, Anthony, and as we journey together, we see many of the lessons we have taught him come from his mouth to us and others. What a blessing to know he is listening and being impacted even at 4 years.
Manners are a must! As Anthony hears please and thank you and is encouraged to say it, he learns that it is respectful and kind to others. When he makes a request it becomes part of the conversation. I love it when he’s done eating and says “May I be excused from the table?”
Life is scary sometimes. When Anthony has a frightful thought I tell him to change the channel and think good thoughts. This reinforces the positive instead of the negative. He came home from pre-school once and told me I don’t ever need to be afraid. I asked him why? “Because the Lord is your helper, I will not be afraid.” From the mouths of babes! I have had to remind him of that this summer when the bees came out, he is afraid of being stung.
Sharing his toys is an effort at times. I remind him it’s nice to share so others can enjoy things for a while. So he does it with a smile on his face and kindness in his voice as if he’s really taking an interest in others.
As he tries to do something new and gets frustrated when not able to at first, we show him and say calmly you must be patient. When he is showing us how to do something he knows how to do, he tells us calmly, be patient.
We walk on our country roads enjoying blue skies with birds singing and I sing ( ok, some might call it singing!) “Oh what a beautiful morning, Oh what a beautiful day….” from Oklahoma. Anthony joins with enthusiasm. This concert rivals any at Deer Creek!
As he helps grandpa with the tractor and chores, Anthony shows him how to mow or fix something with a determined look on his face as he accomplishes the job.
He watched as we wrote a book, “The Summer of Paintless Toenails.” He will pipe up with comments every now and then and we will know he is aware of what’s going on around him. He said,” I’m going to write a book and it’s going to be called, ‘The Summer of Anthony Riding His Gator’ “ It was hysterical, he was so serious.
He will ask why a zebra has stripes. After being informed “That is how God made him”, he repeats that. One discussion with his 5 yr old cousin about hazel eyes or blue eyes, he said “I have hazel eyes, that’s how God made me.”
It’s awesome to watch his personality and integrity being shaped. The privilege to be a part of that as he imitates us is amazing! God bless you as you shape the next generation with integrity and respect.