As we, our society, get busier and busier, we want things to happen faster and faster. We want our children to learn from their mistakes quickly and we opt to punish with the justification that they “should know better,” or “They will remember this next time.” We have don’t teach; instead, we inform and expect people to figure things out from there. I mean, we are all so busy. I hear that a lot. “I know science shows that we should eat meals with our kids so that we have time to talk to them, listen to them, and truly know them. But seriously! Everyone is busy these days and anyway, maybe I don’t want to eat dinner at five with my kids.” Don’t we, as adults, know better though? Isn’t that really the problem. Kids are different because the adults are different.
We know how difficult it can be to learn new things. We all make mistakes. Ever forget where you put your keys? My husband has even forgotten his work laptop at home. We are adults. We expect grace, forgiveness for our wrongs, no matter how big or small. But we forget to give it to our children. We forget that, in ever moment, our children are learning from the things around them.
My youngest gets a lot of “strikes” at school. He also has to “clip down” almost every day. It has been this was since kindergarten. He isn’t actually doing anything that isn’t age appropriate. Adults are just in the mindset that these things will help him to learn to do the right thing. And there are a lot of children to deal with. It would take forever to talk with each one about every indiscretion. And yet, we have to. If we want the world to be a better place, we must slow down and explain the world to kids. We need to help them to learn by teaching them the right things to do. By modeling the way we want them to act. By acknowledging their feelings, curiosities and nuturing their imaginations.