Sometimes, we have to slow down and remember that our kids are just kids.
When we teach them something, we are coming from a position of experience and knowledge. It’s hard to go back to the beginner’s mind and speak from foundational principles. What words do we need to define? What concepts do we need to elaborate on?
This is why we must always be asking “Do you understand?” or “Do you have any questions?”
And we have to provide a space where they feel safe asking those questions.
Whenever my kids do something that hurts one of their siblings, they must apologize, stately clearly what they are apologizing for. “I’m sorry I threw that toy at you.”
The other sibling must answer “I forgive you.” They do not say “That’s ok” or “That’s no big deal.”
It was a big deal. They should not have treated their brother or sister like that. There is something to forgive.
But one night while reading, my wife and I realized that we had made too many assumptions. Our reading led us to talk about forgiveness and why it is so important.
In the middle of the discussion, one of our sons asked, “What does forgiveness even mean?”
In the back of my mind, I thought we had talked about it at some point in the context of forgiving each other. Even if we had, we obviously didn’t do a great job.
So don’t assume knowledge.
Always be open to questions.
And have patience when the questions come.