When I took my son into a doctor’s office, the doctor inquired what brought us there. I proceeded to share my concerns, what I thought was wrong with my son. My son hadn’t been experiencing symptoms that required immediate medical intervention, but seemed behind in some of his fine motor skills, which concerned me.
Once I was done listing off all of my concerns, the doctor asked, “What does your son do well?” While I had easily listed off all the things I thought he was struggling with, it took me a while (probably a minute—but it felt like several) to answer to her question.
I realize both my children have many wonderful qualities and characteristics, but was reminded that human nature conditions us to look for what is wrong in one another. The doctor’s question forced me to think about what is right.
As I discussed what I’d learned with friends, I was reminded that we experience people differently when we look for what their strengths are, gifts are, or what they are good at vs. what is different about them, lacking or a deficiency. I thought about my children and how I experience them. If I’m being honest, as much as I’m amazed at their capabilities, I am also looking at behavior that needs to be corrected, areas that need to be learned or actions that need to be addressed. With new eyes, much like corrective lens, I see my children in a new way. Each child has his own gifts, talents, and capabilities. They are a delight and a wonder to experience, some I experience more fully and gives me even more joy when I shed my need to find something within them that needs to be fixed. They are spectacular just the way they are. Why did it take me so long to see what was right in front of me?
I realize I will have to have an awareness of what lens I’m viewing my children with everyday. My husband and I will need to continue to guide our children in their journey of becoming adults, but I suspect with my new vision there will be far fewer things I identify that need to be fixed and far more things I learn about the many gifts and talents my children possess.
I wish I had gotten these glasses a long time ago.
What does your child do well? How do you experience them everyday?