They are watching you.

My daughter is almost 18 months old and sometimes I just don’t give her enough credit. She is a lot smarter than I realize. Here are a couple examples:

 Okay, so you are looking at this picture and thinking, “Wait….I thought you said she is smarter than you sometimes realize.” Ha. I know. But, before I handed her this paper towel roll, or as we call it in our house, this “Tu-tu-tu,” I showed her how to sing into it so that her voice was amplified. I sang, “Tu-tu-tu!” like a king was entering our house, and I handed it to her, and she repeated what I did. 
Smart. 

 I mean, seriously. Do you need an explanation for this picture? This is just AWESOME! She has already learned chores! 
Smart. 
I know it may not look it, but this kid had never used a spoon all by herself before this picture was taken and I handed it to her and she did it all by herself.
Smartness.
My point is, that our kids are smarter than they sometimes let on…even at this young age. But with this “smart” quality, come some challenges. At least, if you have a strong-willed child like mine.
Maggie is smart enough to know that she is not supposed to touch my candle on the coffee table. When she is in “a mood” (the polite way of saying, she is being a little stinker), she will go over to the candle, look over at me to make sure I am looking, and then touch it. Oh, by the way, it’s not lit or anything, so she isn’t getting burned. However, she knows that she isn’t supposed to touch it and she makes the decision to do it anyways. 
Smart. And a little defiant. 
Maggie knows that she is not supposed to drop food over the side of her high chair to the dog (who is circling under her like a shark). But every once in awhile, usually when I am feeding her beans or carrots, she will grab a handful and reach her hand over the side of the high chair. Then (get this) she waits for me to say, “No Maggie!” and then she makes the decision to drop it. 
Smart. And a little disobedient. 
I am excited that she is smart and that she is growing and learning and testing to see the cause and effects in situations. This is the only way she will grow into the person she is meant to become. But I as her parent have to remember that as she grows and learns, she learns from me as well. She watches my reactions. If I react to any situation frustrated or angry in front of her, she picks up on that. The other day she could not figure out why the triangle puzzle piece would not go in the circle puzzle spot, and so she became frustrated and threw the puzzle piece across the room and then threw herself on the floor. What in the world?! Over a puzzle piece? Seriously, I wish I had her problems. Now, my husband and I don’t throw things when we get frustrated, but she senses and knows when we are frustrated and she picks up on that. So I have to learn to react calmer in frustrating situations because she is watching me and learning from me. 
Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train a child up in the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.” 
Our kids pick up on the bad, BUT they also pick up on the good things we teach them. Maggie will learn the importance of Jesus because every night we pray with her and pray for her. Maggie will learn to love others by the way that William and I love others. Maggie will learn to be kind by watching William and I be kind to those around us. 
We are always being watched by our little ones. Take advantage of this by showing them the correct ways to act, and even if they have an “off” day or don’t always obey you or make good decisions, remember, they still are learning and growing. Give it time and have patience with them. They are a work in progress, as are we! 
Have a fabulous week!

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