In the midst of child-raising we forget how much impact our actions and words have on our little ones. We may teach them to say "please" and "thank you" or to cover their mouth when they sneeze, but we may not always realize the effect that it has once they are out in society. Calvin has always been a social boy. If any of you have had the pleasure of meeting him he has probably talked your ear off about excavators, garbage trucks, and kittens. He has all of Nick's looks and all of my personality.
Today we were at the San Diego Discovery Children's Museum and he very quickly made friends and roamed the facility. I love taking him there because it is a place where I can say "yes" a lot more often than I ever have to say "no." He has an amazing imagination and it brings me so much joy to see it come to life. Max usually pushes the grocery carts around and tries to keep up with the big kids while I soak up my surroundings.
From afar I could see the confrontation begin and anticipated where it might have ended up. Calvin wanted to help a few other older boys (maybe 6-7 years old) make a tower with some big foam blocks outside. I could see the leader of the group get frustrated and even turn red as he was telling Calvin to stop and to go away. Calvin kept on handing the boy more blocks to help him build the tower and I could even here him say "Here you go, friend," cue my momma heart melting. As I grab Max off the grass where he was playing I saw the boy push Calvin and start to punch him. I ran at this point because Calvin only weighs maybe 27 lbs and is a tiny guy for his age. Once he was in my arms he said "Stop friend, that hurts me." I intentionally raised my voice one notch and told Calvin let's go over to the Lego table because this friend was not being kind today.
Calvin repeatedly through the rest of our visit showed me what his 'friend' (we have never met these kids before) did to him and asked me "Mommy, why did my friend hurt my body?" The reason why this incident made me proud is because although Calvin seems like a leader, he is a follower around older kids and normally would have let the child continue to hurt him just so that the boy would like him. He would have normally got right up and played again as if nothing had happened. Knowing this is his personality type we have been working on him using his words to ask another friend to stop if they were to ever hurt his body. Along with using his words, we have been instilling how crucial it is for him to tell mommy and daddy if anyone was to ever hurt his body and/or feelings.
When we are at home practicing these scenarios nonchalantly, I forget how important this is for real life situations. Days like today where Calvin showed me that: A) he is listening to me when I teach him something B) he can stand up for himself and still show kindness and C) he is quick to forgive. I love my sweet boy and even though he has confrontations with friends at times I was proud to see him demonstrate a little bit of Christ's love by not retaliating back.
The rest of our time at the museum went smoothly. Calvin made new friends and was the pirate captain of the ship. He shook everyone's hand and said "Nice to meet you, friend, I am Calvin Daisy". At 3 years old he reminded me that even when something goes wrong in our day, we can move forward and still show kindness to others. I love him so much and cannot wait to see him continue to grow into a little gentleman. My road with him with discipline, listening, and mannerisms has not been easy. It never is with parenting. But today showed me how much he really does hear and notice what we do on a daily basis.
Have you ever had a moment where your child made you proud or surprised you by their actions? How do you teach your children to defend themselves? Does your child handle confrontation well? Does your momma inner lioness come out?