EQ Blog

Is your family experiencing moments of growth & celebration?

By: Candice Dick
9th September 2016

Life isn’t about a day, a week, a month, a year, a decade or our whole life – it is about the parts that make up the whole. The Small Moments. These Small Moments involve presence and awareness.

Awareness of a small moment supports us in finding opportunity in uncomfortable moments and deeper joy in the connecting moments. The idea is that ‘life is a journey not a destination’ – and never is this more true than in parenting. Our children are growing so fast. 2 becomes 6, 6 becomes 7, 14….21! Lets learn together to steep ourselves in the moments.

So what does it look like? Small moments are the moments that are literally passing us by all day.

  • At breakfast, in the car,
  • in how we speak to each other,
  • how we carry out each activity,
  • getting dressed,
  • eating together and
  • clearing away.

Together these small moments make up the mosaic of our lives. Broadly speaking, for both us and our children, there are two kinds of small moments; growth moments and celebration moments.

Growth Moments are literally the training moments that we often miss where we can teach children lagging skills. This is where children can learn

  • autonomy,
  • accountability,
  • self-awareness,
  • interdependence and
  • intrinsic motivation to name a few.

Growth Moments are often frustrating, irritating or inconvenient for us. Those small moments where we the adults may choose to do what needs to be done because it’s more efficient for us to do it. We may choose to ignore a glaring learning opportunity to share an awareness. We may punish a poor behavior instead of creating a teachable moment. These are moments such as

  • shoe lace tying rather than teaching the art of tying one’s own,
  • or pulling out the calculator rather than helping the child to work out the sum themselves.

They are the moments of being present to resistance so that children can move to clear their own plates, pack their own bags or learn to sit through the discomfort of a lost friend, dropped lollipop or broken toy, rather than getting them replaced, or ignoring their pain

The second type of small moments are Celebration Moments. Some of these moments are easy to spot; they are filled with laughter, joy and sense of flow and connection.

Some celebration moments are less obvious to spot – they’re the times when things just happen and we forget how pear-shaped things can go, so this feels normal and so miss the opportunity to acknowledge, appreciate and celebrate these small victories.

These are the moments when

  • kids get on well,
  • empty their lunch boxes or
  • don’t fuss to get something done.

These moments are worthy of gratitude, acknowledgement and attention especially if we’re wanting to see more of them.

Lets remember to celebrate our children quietly and meaningfully. This does not include dumping junk praise upon them hourly. It means seeing them, rather than just their achievements. It often starts with,

  • “I love to watch you when you…..” or
  • “You showed such team work in clearing the table together
  • such determination in your sports match
  • such respect and honour when you greeted your grandparents – thank you”

Small moments matter because it is here that the skills or character traits we wish for our children are grown like muscles one fiber at a time. This means they need to begin exercising with “light-weights” where the costs of poor choices are not serious so that by the times they’re teens or adults and are faced with life choices they have experience in trusting themselves, they’re able to make smart decisions and deal with everyday mistakes and challenges, with a well developed character in place.

What small moments are you going to take note of today?

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