My younger daughter is all about princesses. She eats, sleeps, and breathes “princess.” That works well when we’re in situations that lend themselves to “princess language.” But we recently took a homeschool field trip to Kids’ Day at the Fair, and there’s not a lot of “princess” going on at the rodeo, agriculture shows and exhibits, or livestock barn. For this reason, with the exception of a yearly photo with Ms. Moo, my daughter isn’t exceptionally interested in this event after she gets to visit the petting zoo and consume a bag of cotton candy.
This year was different. This year, we entered the learning center, and I saw Miss Rodeo Louisiana 2012. As part of her efforts to promote the sport of rodeo, she had made a stop at our humble fairgrounds. Cowgirls don’t usually excite my little princess, but I put a different spin on this particular cowgirl. I introduced her to my daughter as a “rodeo princess.” I pointed out the sash and the special insignia on her hat. My daughter was entranced. She got her picture made with this special princess and even received a personalized, autographed picture from her. It was one of the highlights of this field trip for her and is something she still talks about.
A Change In Perspective
What made the difference? A change in perspective. Where she had seen only a cowgirl moments before, there now stood a princess, one of her favorite things in the world. She couldn’t get enough, and it was all because I helped her see the situation differently. As I reflected on the day, I realized that moment was one of my biggest accomplishments. It’s also something I need to do more regularly.
I need to take the time to help myself and my children see circumstances from a different perspective.
How much would our thinking change if we chose to be grateful instead of critical? If we looked for how we can serve others instead of what they can do for us? If we put ourselves in someone else’s shoes and thought about how to respond to them in love? If we quit comparing ourselves to other families (or our homeschool to someone else’s) and examined what God is calling our family to do?
The twelve spies in the book of Numbers saw the same things when they explored Canaan. Ten of the spies saw the richness of the land but couldn’t move past the fear they felt when they thought about fighting through the obstacles in their path. Joshua and Caleb brought back a good report. They knew that God was on their side and with His help, they could possess the land. It was all a matter of perspective. (See Numbers 13 and 14.)
How do you help your children see circumstances from a positive perspective?