“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realise they were the big things.” – Robert Brault.
No mother teaches an infant to suck milk, the child teaches itself. Similarly, no mother consciously teaches her child to be greedy but they teach them anyway. Being a preschool owner, I interact with many children and that helps me learn and understand them better. What I thought I knew about children being inherently greedy was challenged by my experience with my own daughter.
Every Sunday my husband and I take both our children, Aaliya (4 yrs & 8 months) and Rehan (1 yr & 6 months) for a hike to a nearby walking/hiking trail. We immensely enjoy this family time as we are away from technology (we try to leave our gadgets at home) and amidst nature.
We enjoy the flora and fauna that surrounds us, tell stories to our children and usually end the activity with a hearty breakfast at some café or restaurant in Pune. One Sunday my husband found a nice trail which involved climbing a few steps up to a small hill, on which was perched a temple.
The weather was just perfect, the view was immaculate and there were a number of people going inside the temple. They looked busy as if on an agenda to get what they needed from God. It was as if they knew, if I climb these stairs and come all the way to the temple, my wish will get granted. My husband was busy chasing my son who in turn was chasing a few birds.
My daughter on the other hand came to me and said “Mumma I wish you had told me about the temple. I would have got my scarf and book and prayed for you what I have learnt with maulana.” Before I could respond or apologise for not informing her, she said “Nevermind mumma! We can pray something else.”
I was happy to participate and was curious to know where this was leading. As well as I thought I knew my daughter, in my mind I had assumed that this is all for more chocolates or chewing gum or better still an expensive bicycle or digital camera. I was asked to fold my hands, close my eyes and sing a song called “God is so Good”.
Next I was made to repeat after her “Thank you God for the house we live in, food we eat, clothes we wear…….” The list almost seemed endless and rather long for an almost 5-year-old. She specifically thanked God for the spoons and forks in our house, clean toilets etc. etc. All the things that were probably important to her. Everything was accounted and appreciated. While I was still waiting for the part where she would ask for what she really wanted, she informs me we are done with our prayers.
When it comes to food and toys, naturally most children tend not to share. A child below 3 years is inherently possessive about their things. This is just how we are programmed by nature. Hold tight to what you have and try to grab something better if you see someone else has it. “Survival of the fittest” or “animal instinct” some may call it. Greed and want for more is natural. Appreciating what you have and contentment take a lot of self-realisation, patience and empathy.
I was pleasantly surprised by my daughter and felt rather proud. We must have done something right I thought to myself. We can all learn something from our children and today I learned two things
1.Don’t underestimate a child or assume anything about anyone.
2.Appreciating the little things helps you realise they are the BIG things.
Written By -- Insiyah Rahim (Director, Toddlers Nursery & Learn2Teach)