Sometimes it is easier to see what is bad about the phase of a child. It is easier to scream and complain about the awful and the challenging. Some people write it down and when it is attached with cynicism others seem to applaud. Others gravitate toward the negative that is masked with cynicism. The challenging things go viral while the redeeming qualities of a phase stay in the background.
No one applauds the praiseworthy traits because everyone huddles around the ugly ones.
I know children go through challenging phases. I have four young children and I have experienced most of the awful and all of the challenging. I could tell you all the stories. The poop stories, the tantrum stories, the flat out ridiculous embarrassing moments at Target and the times my children ran into a parking lot without the helping hand of a responsible adult.
I think the praiseworthy moments deserve an applause. There is a world out there reminding us of the awful and through the noise, sometimes it is hard to stay joyful in the dog-days of parenting young children.
The thing about a three year old is there is a loyal, independent, teachable child behind those stubborn eyes.
I do not think there is a day that goes by that my three year old does not stomp his foot down and tell me, “I want to do it by myself!” BUT there also is not a day when he does not take me by my hand and say, “Mommy, you are my best friend.”
There is not a day when he does not begin to cry if his blanket is just right, BUT there also is not a day when he doesn’t want to smooth my hair out of my face and tell me I am beautiful.
The thing about a three year old is they are your best friend beneath all the challenging yuck.
They are loyal to you, you are still their best friend because peers are still of little importance.
Three year olds can dress themselves.
Three year olds can use the toilet.
Three year olds can put on there own shoes.
Three year olds can play in the snow for longer than it took you to dress them in their snow gear.
Three year olds get birthdays. They get Christmas.
Three year olds truly love their siblings: they look up to the big ones and care for the little ones.
Three year olds can set the table and match socks.
There are so many praiseworthy things about a three year old. Don’t hear the bad and embrace cynicism. Embrace the praiseworthy. I promise when you search for the praiseworthy you will find the joy in the dog days.
There are so many lovely things about a three year old. Find them. Write them down. Hang them on the fridge.
The world wants you to see a three year old through the eyes of cynicism but God wants you to see them differently. As His children, the thing about a three year old is they significant and important to Him, no matter the challenging and the yuck.
Strive to see the praiseworthy. “Whatever is praiseworthy about a three year old, think on these things.” Philippians 4:8
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