What we can learn from our children

Kids crack me up sometimes. My daughters have the wildest imaginations of any children I’ve ever witnessed playing. So let’s take a closer look at what we can learn from our children.

They make up all sorts of games (inspired by Internation Education Collaboration Day) and each game has a name that the two of them know well. So when my three-year-old says, “let’s play Jailers,” my six-year-old knows exactly what game she’s talking about and they immediately turn on the role of some made up character each of them is pretending to be.

Honestly, I’m not really sure what “Jailers” consists of or where they got the name from. But I do know whenever they play it, my three-year-old often ends up “locked” in a closet area by the six-year-old. How can that be fun? Perhaps I need to play along with them to fully understand the joy in it.

Most interesting to me though has been the amount of drama they put into their games. And when I say drama I’m referring to the-sky-is-falling kind of drama.  They have a strong tendency to play games where the storyline consists of frightening trouble.

You know, stuff like having a shark chasing them…up and down the stairs. Never mind the miracle that it’s able to breathe outside of the ocean or that it’s somehow managing to chase after them. They’re always frantic, breathing heavy, and screaming to each other to “hurry and get to safety…it’s coming…it’s coming…look out!!”

Then because the game is so intense, Abby, who’s potty training right now, inevitably has an accident in her pants and the game needs to go on time-out while she quickly changes clothes…leaving the wet, peed on clothing strung about on the floor. But I digress. Something inside of me tells me that we should meet God halfway, but it seems this also applies to gaming and the other plays they’re always involved in.

Soon they are back at it again, but instead of a shark chasing them, the threat has changed to a Super Villain and they are the Super Heroes freezing the rogue character with their super freeze powers or causing an enormous storm to take place overhead.

Thank you, dear hubby, for turning our daughters into lovers of all things Marvel and DC Comics. I love watching them at play. But as I watch, the same question keeps surfacing in my mind. Isn’t it time to unplug?

And why all the drama? Don’t they realize there will be plenty of real drama to deal with as they grow up? The drama that won’t be so easily resolved, nor quite as much fun? The storms of life won’t just be brought on by their make-believe superpowers but instead will be real, difficult, scary, and choppy to maneuver through.

Isn’t that what having child-like faith is all about though? Very few things ever slow our children down. In fact, more often than not they are more brave than they probably should be. All things should be addressed. They’ll need to know and learn, don’t they?

Perhaps we can learn a thing or two from watching our children at play. Seriously… Spoken of vanity…Take a few minutes and watch your children playing. Consider this…

  • How ridiculous do you think we look when we overreact to life’s problems?
  • Do we live joyfully in the moment?  Even in those frightening moments when we feel under attack?
  • Are we spending so much time focused on the potential pain of the problem, that we miss seeing the simple solution right before our eyes?
  • Do we focus too much on the rules of the game?  Everyone has to play their role in life just perfectly or the rebel gets pushed off to sit on the sidelines, so we can take control and attempt to fix everything that’s broken all on our own.
  • What about our personal needs?  Sometimes it’s necessary to take a break and walk away, so we can start again fresh, with a super new outlook.  And perhaps fresh clothing.  You know, like the clothing of perseverance or maybe even the full armor of God. See also this post about the organization “Moms In Prayer”.

Here’s the best part to keep in mind! We each have our own superpowers to bring to the “game.” It’s true!