Children: Contents Valuable, Handle With CareWritten by Linda Hill
I love getting packages in the mail! I’m amazed at how many boxes have instructions written on them: “This End Up,” “Fragile-Handle with Care, “ “Do not place near open flame,” “Hazardous materials, “ etc. I’ve thought to myself on more than one occasion that boxes seem to come with more instructions than humans do! These little infants come to us with no packaging and with NO instructions…how crazy is that?!
I was thinking about this idea when a lady from my church called me to ask a question and then proceeded to tell me of a recent situation where her daughter was standing alone at an event and feeling very out-of-place when one of my daughters walked up to her, engaged her in conversation and then made room for her in the group she was with. It evidently meant a lot to this mother and she thanked me for raising such a great daughter. Honestly, I didn’t know how to reply…probably because I was a little choked up. Those are what I like to call the “mommy pay check” moments, yet I also didn’t feel I could take the credit. All I could muster up was, “Well, thank you, but I can’t really take credit. She pretty much came that way and I’m just trying not to ruin her!”
As I thought about my awkward response, I began to realize that there was so much truth to that statement. This particular daughter has always been a nurturer and a friend to others. She is very bright, yet seems quite uninterested in “who is who” and what is “popular.” She is a friend to everyone. She CAME that way. Quite honestly, this hasn’t always helped her own social standing and maybe her compassion came from the fact that on occasion she hasn’t been included.
Regardless, our children seem to come to us already “pre-packaged” with a certain nature, their own personalities and qualities that make them who they are. The challenge for us as parents is to help them use those qualities with which they came to their greatest potential and not harm them in the process. Have you ever just sat down and thought about each of your children and what their greatest qualities and natural abilities are? Is it their knack of making friends easily, their sense of humor, the way they observe the world around them, the way they think or feel deeply about life and all its mysteries? Maybe you’ve just noticed how good they are at solving problems, or building things?
I know that so often I’m so obsessed with correcting and teaching my children that I don’t take the time to see the truly amazing child I was given the privilege to parent. Those are humbling moments to realize that my little “packages” came with very valuable contents and I need to handle them carefully so as not to destroy the contents.
Describe your child’s unique personality traits, mannerisms, and characteristics. (Taken from Reflections of a Parent story starter)
Linda Hill is a native of…well, nowhere really. She grew up as an Air Force brat and currently claims Littleton, CO as her home of 8 years (the longest she’s lived any one place in her life so far!) She is the mother of 5 children, two sons and a daughter who have already “flown the coop” and 2 daughters in high School. She is a graduate of Brigham Young University in Family Science and put her degree to use as she raised her large family and operated several home-based businesses while serving in many volunteer positions in her church, community and the schools. She has been married to Kent Hill for 25 years and they look forward to at least another 125! Currently she is an instructor to teens for a daily early morning religion class. She is passionate about her family, storytelling, politics and when she gets the time – locking herself in her sewing room with a chick flick and getting her “creative” on!
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