The other day, there was a roach in our den. I know – gross. I tried to pick it up with a paper towel, but it kept slipping out and landing on my hand. This happened twice and both times I screamed. This made my 11-month-old son scream, well, cry. He saw how I was responding to the situation and he figured there was something to be upset about.
I was thinking about this tonight and it hit me: how we respond to life greatly affects our children.
I share the following with respect for my mom, who passed away in 2011.
Unfortunately, Mom looked a little more on the negative side of things. The words “Oh no” or a gasp of “Oh my goodness” were not foreign to her lips. I’m sure this affected me greatly, as she was a big part of my life. I can remember how her perspective and mood could set the tone for any situation. I did not realize until more recent years how much this affected me and my outlook on life. Now I am actively trying to change my mindset.
I am also trying to help our son River look at life with eyes of joy and a heart filled with laughter. One way that I do this is that I dance with him often. I will put on a song such as Pharrell Williams’ “Happy,” Bob Marley’s “Three Little Birds (Don’t Worry About a Thing),” or June Carter Cash’s “Keep On the Sunny Side.” River will stop what he’s doing, crawl over to me, and I will pick him up and dance with him. Another favorite song to dance to is “Open Up Your Heart (And Let the Sunshine In),” written by Stuart Hamblen and published in 1954. Sometimes I will sing this one as I hold River in the mornings and open up the blinds in his room.
I try to laugh a lot with River, too. Sometime in the past few years, I asked the Lord to help me to laugh more. Recently, I realized that He has done just that. Erich and I try to “keep on the sunny side” of life and try to not sweat the small stuff. I can’t help but think that this has affected River, as I think about his sunny face. He often has a nice smile beaming, with an open mouth, showing his new little teeth.
Erich and I have an awesome task before us: raising up a precious little boy to be an honorable, God-fearing, joyful man. How we handle each day will greatly influence how he will handle his days throughout his life. I do not take this lightly. Our attitudes and perspectives play a big role in molding River’s mindset and how he views life.
How is your mindset and approach to life affecting those who are closest to you? Please leave a comment.