“I wanted to tell him to hurry up… but I paused and asked instead. His response: ‘I want to see if the vultures think I’m a dead animal.’ I hadn’t even noticed the vultures flying overhead… I was so focused on finishing the task and moving on to the next thing that I was missing everything.
How many times in a day do you tell your child to ‘hurry up?’
Rushing out the door. Get your shoes on. Eat your dinner faster. Walk quicker. Chin up, eyes forward, let’s go! We’ve got to HURRY…..
To where? To what?
Do you stop and ask yourself what you’re rushing for? What is so important that you are pushing your child so quickly through their childhood?
And do you ever wonder why?
Why they are moving so slowly. Why they are staring off into space.
Well… Did you ever ask? Did you ever just STOP and try to get inside their head?
I stopped hurrying. And I asked. And these are just a few of the answers I got:
‘I’m counting my peas.’ (not eating dinner)
‘I’m trying to decide which shoes are the best shoes.’ (taking forever to get shoes on)
‘I’m singing to the birds.’ (lagging behind on a walk)
‘I’m watching this worm to see how fast it can dig.’ (not coming in for a bath)
Do you see what’s happening here?
Our adult brains are conditioned to move so rapidly… to hurry as quickly as possible from one activity to the next, always rushing, always thinking about the next thing and never, NEVER paying attention to the current, present, beautiful moment.
But our children? They haven’t been changed yet. They’re still curious and full of wonder. They still see the beauty in weeds and will take the time to hop over every crack in the sidewalk for miles.
And why on earth would we want to do anything but encourage them to keep that passion, that attention to detail, and the ability to SLOW DOWN and just enjoy the world around them?
In fact, we can learn a lot from watching our children. From asking ourselves why we are rushing constantly. Why we are so concerned about the next moment instead of focusing on enjoying the present one.
Ask yourself. Why?
And ask your child. What are we doing in THIS moment? And can I join you?
Watch your world change before your eyes.
To slowing down…”
This story was written by Leah McDermott, M.Ed. She is a homeschooling mother of two wild boys, supporting natural learning experiences for children all around the world through her work at Your Natural Learner. The piece originally appeared on her Facebook page.
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