Gone Guest-ing

Good Morning! I’m not home today – I’ve gone visiting! I was invited to guest post at not one, but TWO blogs this morning, so you can read about my favorite morning game over at Outnumbered 3 to 1 and my take on Social Media over at The Busy Woman’s Guide to Surviving Motherhood. In lieu of a regular post this morning, I am so happy that Pam will be filling in! So welcome, Pam, pull up a chair… Please leave your shoes outside – I’m learning to crawl and we try to keep the outside germs off the floor.

Cole, I am so excited to be on your blog. Being a grown-up, it is such an honor to be welcomed into your cool little world! My name is Pam and I am the mommy blogger on The
Busy Woman’s Guide to Surviving Motherhood. I have three little guys aged 4.5, 3 and 1.5 years old. They are super active and sometimes I wish they were still your age, Cole! So I decided to write today about the importance of looking at the world through our children’s eyes every once in a while.

Spend a Day in Their Shoes

This is going to be a bit of a challenge to arrange, but very much worth the effort if you can really commit to it. Pick a day that has little to nothing on the calendar. No vital errands to run, appointments to keep or chores to complete. It has to be a day that you can one hundred percent devote to this activity. Also before I explain further, let me preface this activity. You are ultimately still the parent and responsible for the well-being of your children, as well as yourself. Please use common sense. As much as I want you to make a true effort to surrender to this task for a day, I do not want any irreparable damage to result or for your children to go hungry, for that matter.
I am sure you have often found yourself lost in wonder, pondering the what, why and how of your little ones thoughts. It really is one of God’s great mysteries, the workings of a child’s mind. I remember one day when my oldest was not more than a year old it occurred to me that he had his own thoughts. He had his own internal monologue playing in his mind. He was formulating a plan to get that teddy bear just out of his reach, he was deciding the best way to tell me he had pooped, he was plotting to catch the cat’s tail, all before I was hit with this epiphany. Babies and children are their own person, with their own mind and ideas. Furthermore, their thoughts and views are much more complex then their “limited” communication skills let on. I put limited in quotes because they really have a vast ability to communicate, it is the ability to teach us their language that is limited.

I ask that you take a day to walk a mile in your child’s shoes. Let them lead the way, you will be surprised where they might take you. To make this effective you will need to gauge your child’s ability to grasp the abstract concept you are trying to implement. In general you can use these guidelines:

• 5 and under – do not try to explain what you are doing, just follow their lead, occasionally asking what they would like to do next.
• 5-10 – explain that mommy wants to see what they would do all day if they could make the schedule.
• 10 and up – may not be “permitted” by your tween or teen but you can give it a shot. Explain to them that you are hoping to better understand them, so that you will not have to ask as many questions.

You are going to have to let the rules be bent a little for this to be truly effective. You have to commit to this. If your son wants to crawl through the dirt at the park, go for it. If your daughter selects peanut butter and salami sandwiches for lunch, bon a petit. To get inside the inner workings of their magnificent mind you must see things how they see them, literally and philosophically.
At the end of the day, you will have a greater appreciation for your children. You will see the wisdom held in a child’s mind. And you will undeniably have a fun-filled day. One last thing – don’t ask a bunch of questions, just go with the flow.

Thank you so much Cole for letting me post on your blog, it has been a lot of fun. Maybe we can do it again sometime. If any of your pals want to visit me they can come to The Busy Woman’s Guide to Suriviving Motherhood. I can also be found on Twitter and Facebook.

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