Children see from a Different Perspective

We have been doing some rearranging in our dinning room in order to make it more guest friendly.  When you have 10 people that regularly gather around your table you need to get creative for even a small family join you.

Last night as we sat for dinner and were preparing to thank the Lord for our food, PC blurted “How did that light move!?”  He noticed that the light was no longer over the center of the dining room table and was now over Beautiful’s chair.  He was enthralled with the idea that the light could move without him knowing it.  We all had a good time with that knowing that the light didn’t move, but the table had.

This funny little occurrence served as a good reminder for me that while our age and past experience usually gives us a more full bodied perspective, there are two important points to remember.

  1. That isn’t always true.  Sometimes our experience causes us to jump to a conclusion that isn’t correct.
  2. Just because we see something (and it might be true), it might not be true for the kids.

We all have experience with number 1.  The important consideration when helping disciple them is that we need to slow ourselves down and make sure we have all of the facts before we charge off with a “solution.”  I know I have committed this mistake more than once and I pray that I remember to take my own advice so it doesn’t happen anymore.

Number 2 is a bit more tricky.  We may be absolutely right as rain about something, but the child may not see it the same way.  This is where we need to really slow down and help bring them along.  All of the “solutions” you provide will be completely lost on the child because they are not on the same page. 

Going back to PCs shifting world for an example, if I had tried to maintain that the light didn’t move, it would have turned into a debate.  He could see plainly that the light was now over his mother and not the center of the table.  In order to help him wrap his mind around it, we needed to show him that the table moved.  At that point, the rest was taken care of automatically.  He was a little disappointed that it wasn’t quite so spectacular, but he was thrilled that his mother now had more light, like an angel.

The real lesson here is that when you disciple your children, make sure you understand their perspective before you fix the wrong problem and create frustration for both of you.  Take the time to understand what they were thinking before you model and correct their behavior.  You will find that showing them that table moved is whole lot easier than convincing them the light did not.

Um. That is not what I meant.

Thunder and I were having a conversation about game ratings this evening.  I was explaining that the rating system is based on the content of the game and two very different games could receive the same rating.  This means that one game I might allow the kids to play and another I would not, even if the rating was the same.  I explained that some content should be for older kids and some content, no one should be looking at in a game.

We looked at two games as examples so he could better understand what I was talking about.  The little ones were around so I didn’t discuss the specific content that caused one of the games to be disqualified in our home, I just pointed at the listing (Sexual Content).  PC was beside himself with curiosity at this point, and just HAD to know what was in it.

The older children were completely hooked at this point, wanting to see me explain this to our 5 year old.  Since PC is number 5 in line, I thought I had this one pretty well in hand.  I explained that, “…it contained content that should only be in private between a husband and a wife.”

Without missing a beat, he cheerfully said, “Oh great!  You and Mommy can play the game after we go to bed.”  Thunder and Princess just received their laugh workout for the day.

That boy is always thinking.