Friday, October 2, 2015

Top 5 Things I've Learned from My Kids

I vaguely remember being taught play chess when I was younger by my stepfather. I was semi-interested in learning but I preferred the simplicity of checkers. Over the years, my hopes of being the next chess legends were pretty much shot. I couldn't tell the difference between a pawn and a knight if it cost me my life. That all changed the other day. After attending one lesson with a local chess group, my kids are now the resident experts.
 In just a two week span they've given me plenty of refresher training on how to play the game. It has made for some fun family game nights. For the first time in forever I've touched chess pieces more than the buttons on my Playstation controller. I can't wait to get home in the evening to see who's up for a round or two.This game is quickly becoming a favorite in our house because it forces us to block everything and everyone for  a few moments so that we can focus our minds on one common goal. Whether we win or lose the game is irrelevant. At the end of the day our whole family wins because we spent some quality time doing something together that we all enjoyed. As we sit there playing chess, I've thought a lot about other life lessons that I've learned from my kids.

Top 5 Lessons Learned

1. Don't Hold Grudges-Earlier tonight my wife and I helped our daughters work through a disagreement. There were tears and hurt feelings between both of them. Within the hour we overheard them talking and laughing just before they fell asleep. It was as if they never had an issue. I wonder at what point in life we adults forgot how to let go of offenses.

2. Dance/Splash in the Rain-It's important to not allow life to keep you from having fun on a regular basis. When it rains my kids love to put on their rainboots and head for the biggest mud puddle they can find. I've learned to proudly put mine on (yes I own a pair) and join them. It's really hard to take yourself  seriously when you're jumping and splashing with your neighbors looking on. When the sun isn't shining (figuratively and literally) learn to be intentional about finding the fun in the rain. It will make you and everyone around you smile.

3. Live Each Day Like It's Your Last- Kids are willing to cram in 100 different activities in one day if you'd allow them to. We could've spent the day skating, riding bikes, going to the movies and then dinner yet they'll still want to do more. They don't seem to understand the concept of "pacing yourself" by spreading the fun out over time. This can be tiring for parents but living for the moment has it's place.  I try to fit in at least a couple of activities where I connect with the kids each day that I'm physically able. 

4. Laugh More-Our girls recently got a knock-knock joke book and have become the queens of comedy. It's amazing how many times of day they laugh. Paying bills and fixing people's problems should never take the place of having a few good laughs each day.

5. Childlike Faith- I appreciate the way kids always believe that things will work out. I'm not sure at what point human beings get introduced to doubt, but I'm glad to have kids that are full of faith in my house for now. Their faith is a constant reminder of how mine should be towards God.

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