Again and again, I have remembered a cute thing Mary Evelyn said when she was around four years old. People made lots of comments about her being tall. Since I’m short, I would often reply with, “One of these days I’m going to be the shortest one in the bunch.” After hearing this over and over, Mary Evelyn piped up one day, “Mom, when you get little . . .” Little did I know that she thought my “shortest one” comment meant that I was shrinking!
I don’t know what it is about being four years old, but I have a cute Bethany memory when she was four, too. One day in the summertime, she got dressed up in winter clothes. Ray said, “Go put on something cool.” In a few minutes, Bethany came back in sunglasses and beads. Bethany was always the one to keep us in stitches!
When John was four and Bethany was two and still taking naps in a crib, I was expecting Mary Evelyn. I was careful about lifting and evidently John had been listening to things I said about that. While the kids and I were in Tennessee visiting my parents, Bethany woke up from her nap. John came to me worried and said, “Bethany is crying, Grandmother is sewing, you have a baby in your tummy, and I’m four years old!” He didn’t know how in the world we were going to get Bethany out of the crib under those seemingly impossible circumstances!
Perspective. In each of these incidents, parents communicated and children responded with their childlike perspective. When we struggle with children in their learning, behavior, or attitudes, maybe it’s time to think about our perspectives and their perspectives. Maybe what we are saying is not what they are hearing.
When I was a child, I used to speak like a child,
think like a child, reason like a child.
1 Corinthians 13:11