Thursday, June 5, 2008

Growing Up

Lately, Nikelle has been growing out of her clothes and shoes. She is getting so tall. Along with her physical growth, she is becoming very independent and knowlegeable. I like to joke with her that I'm going to shrink her so that she stays little forever. She tells me to go ahead and try. I place my hands on the top of her head and attempt to push down and shrink her. With a big smile across her face, she contently and confidently states, "It didn't work, Mommy." Every now and then, I still attempt to shrink her as she continues to beem with pride that she is growing up.

Yesterday morning, I was reminded of just how much our little girl is growing up. She woke up and came downstairs. I, very appropriately, was sitting on the Lazy Boy. Afterall, I didn't feel like doing much of anything. Nikelle began to pick up toys without being asked. I was watching curiously as her eyes caught mine. "I've decided to clean up the family room," she stated. As this was the first time I've ever seen her take on this kind of responsibility, I knew she needed some words of affirmation. "That's very responsible and grown up of you, Nikelle," I said attempting to encourage her.

No longer could I justify remaining in lazy mode, so I got up to unload the dishwasher. Asking her if she wantd to help (at the same time I made certain their were no knives in with the silverware), she assisted in returning all the dishes and silverware to their appropriate places. "Thank you for helping, Nike. Unloading the dishes went very fast with your help."

(I'm attempting to be careful with the words I choose due to the book I am reading by Kevin Leman that I've mentioned previously entitled "How to make children mind without losing yours". He states that children should be encouraged to be helpful because they are part of the family and this is what families do. He is not much for the rewards system or authoritarian parenting. I'm finding that Nikelle responds very well to the encouragement he refers to. I'm not in 100% agreement with everything he has to say, but overall, this book has been very helpful in parenting my girls.)

As I thought about some friends of ours whose kids I've watched empty the dishwasher, clear the table, and do other responsibilities that come with being part of a family, Nikelle interrupted my thoughts with a question. "Can I have a wet rag to wash the table?" she asked. I handed her the rag and went back to my thoughts. These friends have children who are very responsible and therefore, I've always considered their example when it comes to raising my own kids. I wonder what other advice I could gleam from them?

As we headed out the door, the house was a little cleaner than normal. My almost 6-year-old inspired me to get things cleaned before we left the house. It's a satisfying feeling to know your child is taking responsibility and growing up. Afterall, when a child is growing, it's a healthy child. I'm so grateful for the two healthy children God has given us and I need to focus more on helping them grow up as that is what I'm called to do.


  1. You have inspired me to let the kids help more, especially when they ask to help. Too often I brush their requests off because it might make more of a mess or take too much more time than if I just did it myself. Who else is going to teach responsiblity if I don't?! Thanks Tristi for your inspiration today!

  2. Tristi,
    I have always considered your example in parenting your girls, with raising my little one. I believe you are a Fabulous Mother, and do a tremendous job in teaching them right from wrong! I am thrilled that my daughter has such good girls as friends to look up to! And that you are an experienced Mom that I can always turn to for advice! Thank-YOU!