Your eyes have seen my unformed substance… Psalm 139:16
Working on Kindness Projects this summer, Mason and Zack asked if they could volunteer at the local nursing home last Tuesday. Of course I said, “Yes!” So off they went, on a beautiful summer day, to spend an hour-and-a-half helping the elderly in whatever way there were asked. I was so proud of them!
But summer days are long. During the course of the rest of the day, they did several things that frustrated me, blinding me to their earlier kindness and selflessness. It took until the next day to figure out I have a real vision problem.
I believe it was Bob Goff, in his book Everybody, Always who said, “We see what we look for.” If we’re in a foul mood, our vision turns negative. It’s as if we’re just waiting for people to mess up. Because everyone does, frequently, we immediately latch onto their mistakes and let them crowd out the good.
However, when we’re in a good place, our joy has us seeing everything in a positive light. Because everyone does good, frequently, we lift their goodness up high, letting it cast a magical glow over everything.
The things is: When we highlight the good people do, it inspires them to do more good. Conversely, when we focus on their mistakes, we demotivate them, causing them to act out negatively. In essence, whatever we focus on becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy.
Parenting is no different. How we view our kids, and what behaviors we underscore become self-fulfilling prophesies. The choice is ours: Focus on what we love about our kids, or stew about what they do wrong. The first inspires them to flourish and grow; the second brings us down right along with them.
Questions for Reflection:
* Do I recognize that how I view my kids determines what I see?
* If I’m not pleased with what I see, can I change the trajectory of my kids’ behavior by adjusting my vision to see the good?
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