One of the advantages of having grandchildren is the joy of looking at the world from their perspective. I did this to some extent with my children, but grandchildren put a whole new spin on a child-eye viewpoint. What we learn through the eyes of little ones, enhances forward motion.
Following are some of the characteristics of navigating the world from a childlike perspective:
Last weekend, our four-year-old grandson was at our house. After he bathed and donned “comfy jammers,” he wanted me to put on comfy pajamas, too. I took off my sweater and he looked at my old, too big jeans that had slipped below my waist and said, “I don’t like those jeans on you. You need a belt!”
Children call it as they see it, without regard to potential hurt feelings or political correctness. While this is not always advantageous for adults, perhaps we can take inventory of how we approach difficult conversations and come to the point rather than avoiding or talking around them. We can learn the power of confronting issues rather than ignoring them until a crisis occurs. Not every personality deals well with directness, but often there is merit in this approach.
While with my two-year-old grandson, he saw a display of Clemson University shirts. “Look, look, Clemson shirts,” he shouted. “Those are like my Poppa’s shirts!” He made the connection and happily identified the shirts with his grandfather, an ardent Clemson fan.
Children see and delight in things we often overlook or ignore. Their minds aren’t encumbered with to-do lists, financial concerns, and adult worries. Children see the beauty in nature, notice colors and changes, enjoy music, and recognize emotions in others. When children are silent, you can be sure they are watching and listening.
Our family was together Saturday night for a birthday celebration. The grandchildren played outside when they arrived. Suddenly, they noticed daffodils and ran to them, plucking several for their mothers.
“Here, Mommy, this beautiful flower is for you!”
Children are exuberantly joyful. They enjoy simple pleasures. They clap and jump up and down with happiness. Children possess that wide-eyed wonder that allows them to notice and revel in something new, beautiful, or different. May we renew and cultivate that same joyful enthusiasm about the world around us.
Children possess that wide-eyed wonder that allows them to notice and revel in something new, beautiful, or different.
Our four-year-old grandson likes to build a parking lot when he’s at our house, using a collection of cars and trucks from a plastic bin. He usually wants me to build the parking lot with him, and as we play, he creates stories about the cars and trucks and their pretend occupants. I enjoy this creative pursuit as much as he does!
As an only child, I learned to play by myself, to make up stories and act them out, to talk to pretend characters and entertain myself.
Children have vivid imaginations. They are creative and resourceful. They engage in problem solving and invent scenarios. Their minds aren’t hampered by the bonds of reality.
Children have a level of trust adults often don’t. Unless children have been hurt by someone, they maintain the innocent trust that is unique to childhood. If they have experienced loving care, they expect it, model it, and show love and concern for others.
Last weekend, I had the joy of shopping with my granddaughter for a party dress to wear at her 5th birthday tea party. As we looked at racks of dresses, she exclaimed, “Oh, look at all the pretty dresses!” She touched and looked at each before spotting two that were her favorites. She tried on the pink dress, with embellished, glittering waist band first and twirled in front of the mirror. Her two-year-old brother watched, and suddenly said, “You’re beautiful! I love you!”
Tears filled my eyes and threatened to run down my cheeks. That sweet expression of love from a two-year-old for his sister reminded me of the need to demonstrate and express love to others, especially family members.
So often we zoom through our days, intent on accomplishing tasks and meeting deadlines, yet fail to truly love those we hold dear. Giving and receiving love is one of God’s greatest commandments. Today, tell those who are important to you that you love them.
“So I give you a new command: Love each other deeply and fully. Remember the ways That I have loved you, and demonstrate your love for others in those same ways” (John 13:34 VOICE).
“Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a real blessing” (Psalm 127:3 GNT).
Candy Arrington is a writer, blogger, speaker, and freelance editor. She often writes on tough topics with a focus on moving through, and beyond, difficult life circumstances. Candy has written hundreds of articles, stories, and devotionals published by numerous outlets including: Inspiration.org, Arisedaily.com, CBN.com, Healthgrades.com, Care.com, Focus on the Family, NextAvenue.org, CountryLiving.com, and Writer’s Digest. Candy’s books include Life on Pause: Learning to Wait Well (Bold Vision Books), When Your Aging Parent Needs Care (Harvest House), and AFTERSHOCK: Help, Hope, and Healing in the Wake of Suicide (B&H Publishing Group).
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