After sitting in my fourth carline of the week, picking up Ashton from school, she hops in the car, and I greet her with my usual cheery greeting.
“How was your day? I missed you so much.”
I give her a quick kiss before she heads back to get buckled up.
I look in my rearview mirror before pulling away to make sure she is all set to go, but she has this look of disgust on her face. So, I ask her what the problem is.
She says, “You smell like a burrito.”
A burrito, of all things. I just laugh to hide the pain. Pop a tic tac and drive home.
After finishing homework, cleaning out the lunch box, checking folders for the 900 things I need to sign and return to school (and brushing my teeth.) We walked over to my parents’ house who live next door to sit on the porch and relax a bit.
Ashton plops down beside my mother, gives her one glance over and says, “You’re getting old.”
My mother thankfully is not the sensitive type, gets a good laugh out of the comment and agrees she is getting old. While I am sitting here wondering where I went wrong as a mother and why my four-year-old is bullying us.
On more than one occasion, she has seen an elderly lady and automatically calls her “grandma.”
It is kind of funny and cute at times, and completely normal for children to not have a filter at this age. Most of the time they just say the first thing that comes to their mind with no regard to how it might make others feel.
It is important for us as adults to realize just how powerful our words are and to instill that knowledge in our children. I still remember a teacher I had in the fourth grade that made a comment to me once about my outfit or a kid at school saying that I had a big nose or monkey arms. You carry that with you for the rest of your life.
Proverbs 12:6 says, “The words of the wicked lie in wait for blood, but the speech of the upright rescues them.”
So, I couldn’t just laugh and say, “Now Ashton you can’t say stuff like that,” and carry on my merry way. I had to have the conversation as to why we do not say things like that.
We may not think this is necessary sometimes with our children. Some might say to just correct them and they will learn not to do it through fear of getting in trouble, but I think that would be squandering an opportunity to actually correct the behavior and have more of a long-term influence on the rest of their life.
It is hard to imagine me not being there every step of the way for my children and if I am lucky enough to have the privilege to guide them throughout their childhood, they will not always be children. My goal as a parent is to make sure I raise nice, respectful, and responsible children who carry on those same qualities into adulthood.
I definitely do not want Ashton getting fired from her job one day for telling her boss that she smells like a burrito or looks like a grandma. I have to start somewhere.
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