Raising a sponge. Such a loaded thought, but so true when watching toddlers grow. Just like every mom before me and all those after me, I am in the midst of raising a couple of sponges. Sponges are designed to absorb that which surrounds them. But what does it mean to absorb? In reference to children, absorb means to engross the attention of (someone). Kids watch and listen to everything we say and do, which means they imitate and repeat everything we say and do.
With each passing day, this becomes more and more realistic to a (toddler) mom. I have a mild case of road rage. In our small town in southern Mississippi, traffic really is not much to complain about; yet I find myself swept up the madness that would ensue in big city rush hour. I keep things G-rated, but it doesn’t keep the sponge effect from hitting me like a ton of bricks.
A few weeks ago, we came to a red light and from the backseat, we hear with resounding force from our 3 year old Moose, “Drive, Genius!” (A favorite saying of mine) Of course, laughter filled the car, but it also brought it to the forefront of my attention: everything I say, everything I do is a cue for how my kiddos will learn to behave.
Ephesians 4:31-32 “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”
In light of this, I am reminded to be a positive example before my kids. That traffic which will come and go without much thought afterward, that lost shoe, the toy that was repeatedly left out- whatever it is that tests our patience- at the end of the day these instances are trivial. How much more rewarding will it be to see our kids respond in joy rather than the stress and anxiety which allow to run our adult lives?
Because just like negative behavior, positive behavior, too, is learned. Let’s show our kids the positive, happy behavior we hope to see in them. I know we’ll all have tough days ahead of us, but the way we handle those situation will either build up or tear down the character within our children.