Two-year-olds get a bad rap. We think of them as terrors - emotionally crude, interpersonally selfish, and behaviorally explosive. True to form, my two-year-old step-granddaughter is sometimes all of these things, and can be appropriately trying. She is usually delightful. However, when she is tired and cranky and calls for her blanket, it had better appear, or a price will be paid. At the same time, though, I have to admit that I’ve learned some important life lessons from her.
The first lesson, which I’ve recognized but unfortunately not yet applied in my own life, is, ”When you are no longer hungry, stop eating.” For her, it is obvious. As mentioned, I am still working on it.
The second lesson came to me as I observed her struggling to master the art of climbing onto an adult chair unassisted. After all, she’s only about 32” tall, so the chair seat comes about to her chest. Could you climb onto a surface that came to your chest? She has learned that, with effort, she can do it. During that effort, as she reaches, strains, and grunts, her mantra is, “Almost got it! Almost got it!”
Wow, what a great motto for life! With “Almost got it,” she communicates that she knows exactly what her goal is, has her mind sharply focused on it, is happily investing every ounce of her strength into the fight for victory, and confidently expects to succeed. It is the motto of a doer, a striver, an optimist. It is the motto of a builder, a person with vision. It is the motto of a person who will build her own self-esteem from strengths and accomplishments, not adopt an attitude of self-esteem based on entitlement.
I pray that she never loses this attitude, and that I can manifest it myself as well as she does.
What have you learned from youngsters in your life?
“My passion is ensuring that every adult is mentally ready to succeed in all transitions that comprise the adult years. The meaning in my life comes from helping my patients see themselves, their situation, their future, and the entire world with new eyes and a newly courageous attitude.
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