Saturday, August 29, 2015

What is Your Child Most Grateful For?

I came across a Facebook post of a friend and thought that it's an interesting read. Since my eldest son and I are already finished with our homeschool lessons and he was already playing with his toy cars, I thought of asking him at least the first question in case he's in the mood to answer.

He was hesitant to answer the first question at first. Then, he would whisper his answers into my ear. I encouraged him to say them out loud but he just laughed. 

Anyway, he seemed game. So, I proceeded in asking him as many questions as he was willing to answer. I copied and pasted the questions on a Word file and typed in his answers. I wanted to remember his answers to these questions at this time of his life. He's currently six years old.

His answers gave me a lot of insight to what was going on in his mind and more importantly in his heart.

I believe that it was a wonderful way to cap our afternoon after completing our homeschool lessons. But little did I know that his answers to a couple of questions, particularly question number 8, would bring happy tears to my eyes.

As I've mentioned earlier, while he was playing with his toys, I was asking him questions. He was relaxed and in a good mood. I wanted to seize the opportunity to know him more through these questions. I just kept asking and typing answers as he blurts them out.

But there was one question that made me stop and ask him to come near me so I could kiss and embrace him.

It was this question.

"What are you most grateful for?"

Without batting an eyelash or looking anywhere, he said these words while looking at me...

"Being with you!"

Wow! I was speechless. I just felt the tears roll down my cheeks. Then, I drew him close, kissed him and embraced him. I told him, in my broken voice, that his answer made me very happy. I also added that being with him is one of the things I am most grateful for in my life.

Three words. Three powerful but loaded words from a six-year-old. Suddenly, I felt overwhelming joy for making the choices I have made in the past 7 years of my married life. I'm so grateful too that my eldest son appreciates my decision to be present to him and to his brothers, that it makes him happy and grateful, that he likes me to be with him. Wouldn't all parents want to hear that from their children? I think parents would want to hear that from their children regardless of their ages.

He was and still is one of the reasons I have chosen to work from home and to prioritize my Mommy duties over my work duties. I sometimes get frustrated when I don't meet my personal deadlines or when I am not able to do certain things I am passionate about because there are still MANY things that I need to attend to as a wife and as a mom. Yesterday, however, all those frustrations simply melted away. I felt like I was just handed a BIG REWARD that no amount of money can buy. 

I don't know about you but when I became a parent, so many things in my life changed. It was like my life was overhauled. I personally chose to stay home with my kids most of the time. I prioritized spending time with them over spending time with other people including my friends because my kids are still very young. I thought that my true friends would understand my new priorities and if they are parents themselves, the more that they would understand why it is extra challenging to go out of the house with small kids or a baby in tow, especially when you don't have a helper or nanny to help you out and you don't know how to drive.

So my days were mostly spent being with my kids... Attending to their needs, singing to them, listening to their stories and songs, reading to them, teaching them many things, praying with them, playing with them, cuddling with them, eating with them, etc.

Being a hands-on parent is no easy job. It's exhausting especially if you have more than one child to attend to. But it is also very rewarding like what I experienced yesterday. 

I was grateful that I took the time to ask those questions to my child and that I patiently waited for him to answer. I got to know him more. I gained insight into how he sees himself, what makes him happy, what makes him sad, what his dreams and plans are, what he wants to teach other people and many more.

There was another question that he answered that made feel really loved by my son. 

I asked: "If you can help one person today, who will that person be? And what will you do to help that person?"

He answered, "You! I will help you by playing with Geordan. (Geordan is his baby brother.)"

Isn't that sweet? 

Pondering on his answers confirmed what I have read many times in numerous articles and books. Children want our presence more than our presents. I'm glad that yesterday, my eldest son proved that to me to be true. He did not mention any toy I gave him or any play center that we visited. I'm grateful that my son has learnd a valuable lesson from the choices I have consistently made over the years and that is: People are more important than material things. 

Yesterday, I discovered that my son values my presence more than the toys that he likes to have or the places he wants to visit. I'm delighted to know that something as simple as being with a parent can make him happiest and most grateful.

Photo source here.

How about you? Do you know what your child is most grateful for? I encourage you to take some time to ask. You might want to use the same list of questions I used. Who knows, you might also get a very wonderful surprise like what happened to me! Here is the link to the article I was referring to in this post.

If you want to be with your child more often and you are dreaming of working from home or having a home-based business but are not sure how to transition to this kind of lifestyle or what you need to do to make it happen, I can help you through my coaching program called iHOPE. You can read more about it here.

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