Forgetting What It Means To Be a Kid

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by Nick Galieti

There was a television show a few years back entitled Kids Say The Darndest Things. Featuring ironic and humorous quips from young kids, the show was often entertaining as well as enlightening. As a father of five young girls, my life feels like one continuous episode of the show, minus the laugh track and studio audience.

Recently, my second oldest in frustration made a statement regarding how my wife and I were parenting, which she considered too strict to her young mind. My daughter said, “I think you guys must have forgotten what it is like to be a kid.” Her mother then asked, “Why do you say that?”

What followed was both funny and reflective. My daughter said, “Because if you remembered what it was like to be a kid you wouldn’t be so strict and you wouldn’t ask us to do so many chores like clean our room and take out the trash.”

My father ears interpreted my daughters frustrations with humor and a hint of reflection. “One day you will understand and appreciate why we ask you to do these things, just as we have learned to love, respect, and appreciate what our parents did, even though it was hard at the time.”

My spiritual ears heard the voice of my Heavenly Father looking at his spirit children and responding, “Trust me, one day you will understand and appreciate why I ask you to keep my commandments, and to love God and your neighbor. Even though it may seem hard right now, you will one day appreciate why I invite you to keep yourself clean, to keep the trash out of your life, and to work hard to live the way I am showing you how to live.”

I realized that in many ways, I have forgotten what it is like to be a kid—a kid of a Heavenly Father. I don’t always know what is best for me, even though I think I do. I need to re-learn obedience and trust. I need to not throw fits when I don’t get what I want, and rather appreciate the idea that my Heavenly Father is blessing me in the way that is best.

  • What are some truths that you have learned “out of the mouth of babes?”

5 Responses to Forgetting What It Means To Be a Kid

  1. Jendoop says:

    This is a perk of parenting, these insights into how Heavenly Father operates. I still have a hard time applying it though. In fact my frustrations with life sometimes go beyond mature statements like your daughter’s into tantrum stage. I want things to be different so I get angry, stop doing things I don’t want to do, cry and even pick fights with my family. It’s not pretty but there you have it, deep down I’m still a spiritual toddler.

  2. Paul says:

    My youngest daughter is particularly good at loving us, no matter where we are. Her way of difusing tension is to offer a hug and a word of kindness. She has, thankfully, not yet “matured” into the difficult teenage cynicism that has captured some of her older siblings. Her responses remind me regularly of the need to love my children where they are today, as I hope my Father in Heaven loves me.

  3. Bonnie says:

    This counsel from the Savior, to be even as they are, has pointed my attention many, many times to my children. They are forgiving; they want to love; they love to serve; and, as you state, they can’t see the big picture. There is something much more free about pressing through the “have to know everything” years as a parent and finding oneself at the childlike stage again. We receive so much better what the Lord has for us in that mindset. Such a tender, useful piece, Nick.

  4. Susanne says:

    Thank you for this beautiful reminder! I needed to be reminded of it — yet again — today. I hope my Heavenly Father will continue to smile and be patient with me as I forget – far too often, sadly.

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