Can you please dry your hands?

I asked a preschooler, “Can you please dry your hands?” The preschooler replied, “Can you please let me be happy with wet hands?”

Dripping wet hands

Dripping wet hands

We often take the pleasure of water for granted. About 1/3 of the world’s population does not have access to adequate water. Here in the United States we have faucets that advertise we do not even have to turn them on to work. We just touch them, and some are even touchless. We cannot even be bothered by touching a lever to get our water! Water is easily taken for granted in affluent areas.

Children however, do not always take things for granted. If they like something, they don’t think about how easily accessible it is or how rare it is. They just enjoy it. Water is something our bodies need to live, but enjoyment is also something our bodies desire.

Whether your hands are wet or dry as you are reading this, I hope you can find enjoyment today.

  • When was the last time you truly enjoyed water?
  • Will you take a moment today and experience hot and cold water?
  •  Is there anything you could do to bring water to those in need?

“When a child is locked in the bathroom with water running and he says he’s doing nothing but the dog is barking, call 911.”

Erma Bombeck

The power of a preschooler will change your mind…..if you let it.

 

“Why are you so happy when the ball does not go in the hole?”

I was at the miniature golf course and a preschooler was squealing with excitement.  I assumed she had made a hole in one. In a short moment, the child squealed again. By the third explosion of excitement, I felt I needed to watch this child prodigy. Every time the preschooler hit the ball and it did not go in the hole, the child would shriek with excitement. I asked her,  “Why are you so happy when the ball doesn’t go in the hole?” She looked at her dad and said, “If I get the ball in the hole, the game is over.  If I keep playing, I get more time with my daddy!”

"My club hitting the ball"

“My club hitting the ball”

I grew up with a father who played golf most weekends and watched many a tournament on the television. I never heard him excited about a high score. I never heard him joyful about not getting that little ball in the hole.  I was taught to play by the rules. You have to take a penalty shot if you want to get out of the rough. You cannot walk across the line of another player’s putt on the green.  The farthest player from the pin hits the first shot.

There are many reasons why people play golf. Some enjoy the exercise. Others like the competition or the personal challenge. Some people see the game as a chance to have fun or to enjoy the outdoors. Others like the game because of the friends and relationships that are formed on the course. As I always followed rules, I never thought much about the rules of a relationship. A relationship needs time to develop. Relationships need as many holes as possible.

Sometimes we get caught up in the daily rules and forget that the relationships can be more important than the rules. Sometimes that time on the golf course with a loved one is more important than the final score. Sometimes it takes a preschool shrieking about not getting a ball in a hole to remind us of that.

  • Who in your life would you like to spend more time with?
  • What prevents you from spending more time building relationships?
  • If you could ignore some rules in the world, what would they be?
  • Will you take time this week to give yourself a Mulligan when you need a do-over in a relationship?

“Do I have to know rules and all that crap? Then forget it.”   John Daly (when asked whether he’d like to join the Royal and Ancient Golf Club, after winning the ’95 British Open at St. Andrews)

“I have always believed there are far too many rules in golf. For me, if you cannot write them all on the back of a matchbox then something is wrong.
” -Henry Longhurst

The Power of a Preschooler will change your life….. if you let it.

“Did you see the Blackhawks play last night?”

Being from the Chicago area, it seems everyone is very excited about the Chicago Blackhawks in the Stanley Cup playoffs. I asked a preschooler, “Did you see the Blackhawks play last night?” He replied, “No, I saw red birds flying in my backyard, but I did not see any black hawks.”

Red Bird possibly awaiting a Black Hawk

Red Bird possibly awaiting a Black Hawk

To be fair, I asked another preschooler the same question on the same day. “Did you see the Blackhawks play?” This child’s response was, “I think Crawford did an awesome job in the net, and I want to be as fast as Patrick Sharp one day.”

Blackhawk tatoo

Blackhawk possibly awaiting a Stanley Cup win.

These 5 year olds were both asked the same question, yet their answers were so vastly different. You can see where exposure makes a big difference to a child. A child whose parent loves hockey may be able to embrace face offs, icing and off sides. A child whose parents love birds may be able to embrace red-tailed hawks, talons, falconry and the concept of carnivorousness. Children pick up on what adults gravitate towards.

This puts a tremendous amount of responsibility into parents’ and teacher’s behaviors. When children see parents mocking other nationalities, they see that as acceptable. When children see teachers talking to each other while ignoring behaviors in the classroom, they see poor behavior and gossiping as acceptable. When children see adults smoking cigarettes, they see that as acceptable. When children see grandparents eating junk food, they want to be included in that too.

It is always easier to embrace strong, healthy passions than to stop and change something that is not acceptable. Children are watching you. Even if you don’t have children in your home, they see you in the store. They see you at the park. They see you in cars. Children have eyes like hawks. They see more than they talk about. Everyone needs to be aware of what children may be seeing in our lifestyles, our words and our actions.

A red-tailed hawk can see a rabbit for two miles. Their eyes can zoom in on their prey. A preschooler’s eyes may not be able to see a rabbit for two miles, but they can see what is important to an adult by the way he or she spends his or her time. To a preschooler, you have the ability to be a part of the biggest power play he or she may ever experience.

  • Based on what you do and watch, what would people think you are interested in?
  • What is something someone would assume you dislike?
  • How could you show people what you really value?
  • Will you consider modeling some good behavior this week?

“If you’re a dad, what kind of mark are your leaving on your children, especially your sons? Do you realize that your little boys are watching you like hawks? They’re trying to figure out what maleness is all about, and you’re their model.”  Bill Hybels

The power of a preschooler can change your mind……if you let it.

“Have you ever had stiches?

I asked a preschooler,Have you ever had stitches ? He smiled with acknowledgement and said, “Oh, yes, I get “itches” all the time!”

It is so easy to confuse words with others that people are saying, or we simply do not understand new words. We only know what we think we hear. We cannot know what we do not know or do not understand. That all sounds simple. However, there is something about communication that is not always simple.

Yesterday I had someone say something to me from very far away. I never heard any of the  words until the person had stated them three times and was already frustrated about my lack of hearing. I had no chance of a calm conversation when the first thing I heard was already filled with frustration.

I often hear words that I think make sense only to later find out that my ears can deceive me. I also don’t comprehend foreign accents well which makes for totally disconnected ideas in my head. Miscommunication will always happen in our world. What we do with it and how we handle it will be the key to our success. The preschooler with the itch was not reprimanded for not listening well. He was not scolded for not understanding the vocabulary word. He was accepted and told what stitches in our skin are used for. He left with a greater knowledge, and he left not feeling inadequate or frustrated. What can start out as miscommunication can always have a happy ending if we work on it.

  • When was the last time you left a conversation feeling misunderstood?
  • When you get frustrated with someone, what is a positive way to deal with that?
  • What is one place where you would love to be understood more often?
  • Will you try to make that place a haven for grace in communication?

“Home is where you can scratch where it itches.” Anonymous

“What Secret Power would you like to have?”

I asked a preschooler, “What secret power would you like to have?”

He leaned forward, looked me in the eye and said, ”I don’t have any secrets, but I have a lot of super powers. I can fly. I can jump over tall buildings. I can fight bad guys, and I can turn the bad guys into good guys. I can do other things after I wake up from my dream, but my mom keeps me really busy trying to learn my letters. I think my mom is the one that needs some secret powers.”

Preschoolers have wonderful imaginations that often flow seamlessly into reality. They can play the part of a super hero and then sit down and practice matching alphabet letters. They do not keep their talents or their dreams as secrets. They openly share what they think, what they feel and what they do and don’t want to do. They do not set limits on themselves. They do not see impossible things as impossible. They believe in happy endings. They believe that they will be protected from evil. They can have a sense of higher wisdom that goes beyond where our adult minds stop.

Preschoolers can be super heroes to adults. Their thoughts and actions can propel us into a world that we don’t always spend much time in. They can spur our imaginations into places we have long given up. They can bring pure joy and laughter into our lives. They can help us find our own inner four year olds and embrace them. Hang out with preschoolers long enough and you too will start to catch secret powers they possess. The only thing that would stop you from catching their power is if you did not pause long enough to embrace their world. There is mighty power in pausing.

  • What secret power would you like to have?
  • What powers do you already possess that you do not use often?
  • Think about a time when a young child has given you joy.
  • Will you consider putting on your super cape and enter into the lives and minds of preschoolers so that you can tap into their secret powers and use them wisely?

 

What does your Super Power look like?

What does your Super Power look like?

“What makes Superman a hero is not that he has power, but that he has the wisdom and maturity to use the power wisely.  From an acting point of view, that’s how I approached the part.”

Christopher Reeve

The Power of Preschoolers can change your life….. if you let it.