(published in the Wed., Mar 23 '05 edition of the "Bull's Eye", Vol. 1, No. 22)
By: L.A. Kohl
March 5, 2005
I’ve been doing this parenting thing for over seventeen years now. It isn’t getting easier...but sometimes I think it’s becoming more fun.
Don’t get me wrong, the first few years of parenthood were definitely enjoyable. I just think that I, like most new parents, was too uptight about some things. Now I’m realizing that these little ones are going to grow up, no matter what I do or don’t do...so let’s enjoy the process!
One thing I really enjoy is a young child’s way of looking at things. They have such an uncomplicated, simple view of their world. And to them, everything should have a simple solution.
Our three-year-old has come up with her share of solutions lately. One Sunday as we were getting ready to leave for church, our five-year-old was upset that the jacket she was trying to get on was now too little for her. The three-year-old had an immediate answer for her.
“Don’t worry. When the jacket grows up, then you’ll be able to fit it.”
That kind of logic is exactly what I mean. There just aren’t very many unsolvable problems for a preschooler. And when there is a problem, the “KISS” rule seems to apply...Keep It Simple, Stupid!
Another preschooler solution surfaced just a few days later.
Since we have a boy now, we recently decided it was time to buy some hair clippers. Our boy has very little hair, but it was getting kind of shaggy in the back, so one evening we decided to try out the new clippers. It took both of us – Nate had to hold his head still, while I quickly did the little buzz job. Our three-year-old stood there watching the whole thing, and afterwards said that she wanted her hair cut, too. We told her no, it was bed time, and she didn’t need a hair cut anyway.
She must have fallen asleep thinking about it, because the next morning, she once again declared that she wanted a hair cut. I tried to explain to her that she didn’t need a hair cut.
With big, sad, puppy dog eyes she looked up at me and said, “But my hair is long like a girl. I don’t want to be a girl; I want to be a boy, so you need to cut my hair.”
We “older and wiser” adults know that life doesn’t work that way – clothing doesn’t grow with you, and haircuts don’t change who you are. But, I think we also know that sometimes we adults make things a lot more complicated than they really need to be. So, next time a problem arises, maybe we should all sit back for a moment and try to think like a three-year-old. It might not solve our problem – but it may help us take a little more light-hearted approach to it!