Have you considered the vantage point of a wee child? Towering adults, treats stashed in out-of-reach cabinets, and lofty light switches in dark rooms. The adult world must feel overwhelming at times.
My granddaughter—a.k.a. Little One—taught me a valuable lesson about perspective. She was four years old and barely three feet tall when our worlds clashed.
I closed the freezer door and sidestepped to the dish drainer. Little One followed. As I wrangled ice into glasses, she tapped my hip.
Her whispered lisp was almost inaudible, “Ice cream?”
I waved at her hopeful gaze, “There is no ice cream, baby.”
Her hand fell to her side when I turned away to set the table for lunch. Little One persisted with the ice cream request throughout the meal, awakening my inner “Oh no.”
Following lunch, I tidied the kitchen while Little One clung to the ice dispenser ledge.
“Not today. Let’s play.” I walked away to the tune of a single set of footsteps–my own.
Sigh. I returned to her space and looked into an upturned face.
“Papi ate it all last night. Now, let’s go play.” I rested my palm on her shoulder; my signal for her to move with me.
She pressed her cheek against the freezer and patted the door.
Listen here, Little Missy, rushed from my brain toward my lips, but just before I spoke, words from beyond the kitchen arose.
“Usually when she sees there is none, she stops.”
I locked eyes with Little One, opened the freezer door, and swooped my hand before the frozen cavern, “See? There. Is. No. Ice. Cream.”
The door closed; she melted toward the floor.
Why does she not see?
Then divine inspiration dropped in my spirit like an anvil on dry ground.
I lowered to my knees. Little One drew close. For a moment we beheld one another eye-to-eye. I opened the freezer door again. We peered inside. When the freezer fog dissipated, orange and white swirls on a red ice cream carton shamed me.
I whispered, “Now, I see.
For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you
not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think,
but to think with sober judgment, each according
to the measure of faith that God has assigned.
• Romans 12:3 ESV •
My grown-up ego made it too easy to ignore my granddaughter’s perspective and to impose my will. Maybe you can relate.
I have no sure-fire remedy for all adult-child clashes of wills. However, I believe God imparted a few tools for thriving with our little ones through this experience:
- Consider your little one’s vantage point when seeking to establish the truth.
- Cultivate ties that bind by fostering healthy two-way communication.
- Connect through teachable moments; teach your little ones and remain teachable.
Children need our encouragement. I am grateful my Little One left knowing her Mama Cha not only heard, she listened.
When you find yourself in conflict with the little ones in your life, I pray the truth of this verse will prevail.
What tools do you utilize for thriving with the little ones in your life?
Charla Matthews is a sojourner in Christ who seeks to listen to—and obey—the single Voice of Truth. She thrives on communicating God’s Word through teaching and writing. Charla enjoys a good belly laugh, gets misty-eyed during profound moments with God, and strives for quality living with family and friends. Above all else, she loves Jesus without shame.
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