Children only know what we teach them. They only learn what they are exposed to. They only internalize what they are told.
As I sort through old boxes of photos from my childhood, I am always surprised. There are thousands upon thousands of pictures of me laying in a hospital bed. Even more of me in grueling physical therapy. And just as many post surgery in the recovery room. Yet in all of them, I am smiling. The irony of this is not lost on me. Stay with me on this one.
I was a child when I was run over by a drunk driver. I didn’t know hate growing up because my parents didn’t teach me hate. I didn’t know revenge growing up because my parents didn’t teach me revenge. So as far as I was concerned, I had a perfectly normal childhood. I never had any animosity toward the man who crashed through my home, because I didn’t know any different. And my parents never said a bad word about the drunk driver. They never taught me to use my energy worrying about the past. They never exposed me to the frustration they must have felt looking at me laying in that hospital. I never internalized the role of “victim” because they only told me I was a survivor. How complex this behavior is, and yet how simple at the same time. Why can’t we all do this in day to day life? Why can’t we easily turn the other cheek? Why can’t we just let go instead of constantly feeling like we need to serve justice on our own terms? I’ll tell you why … because it would be unbelievably hard. It would take massive amounts of faith in God with a side of courage. I don’t even know if I would have that much courage if the exact same thing happened to a child of mine. Part of me thinks I would have such grace, but the other part of me thinks I would let emotions eat me alive.
Think about this … I spent 15 plus years, almost all of my childhood in and out of the hospital, but I never had one bad feeling toward the man who put me there. I owe that one hundred percent to my parents. It is probably the best gift they ever gave me because it allowed me to develop into a healthy minded adult. And I force myself to think of this often now that I am a parent. Imagine watching your baby in constant pain, ripped open on the operating table, and covered in scars … all while you sit by her bedside, saying nothing. Not cursing the man who caused so much pain. Not pouring over with anger and resentment. Not opening your mouth and talking negatively about another human who wronged your baby. This all boils down to one basic truth – all the good in life, we teach our children. And all the bad in life we also teach our children. So it is up to us, to be keenly aware of which emotions we are serving them. Perhaps it is an accident. It could be racism or gender stereotyping. No matter what it is, our children only know the boxes we put people in, if we put people in boxes. They learn from watching us and from listening to us, even when we think they are not paying attention. The good and the bad. We have the power as parents to shape our children’s view of the entire world within those early years of life. What an honor bestowed upon us, but one we must use wisely. We don’t have to shelter them for the evil in the world. In fact, we can’t. We just have to show them so much more love. We have to show them laughter when we want to cry. We have to show them grace when we want to scream. We have to show them forgiveness if we expect them to know what that is.
Wow nicole this is new territory for me- i need to assimilate & let these words sink in before i can react to them! Even now though- i can see the wisdom of your words.
I am so thrilled you are in this community! I write as a way for all of us to connect, love and hopefully grow! xoxox
I have always seen you as a loving caring young lady but I never knew anything about your childhood and what you had suffered. Your parents were and are wonderful parents and set an example for other parents. It is true that we teach our Children to love, hate, very nice, and that they often hear conversations parents have that are not meant for them but That children learn from them.
Yes, something for all of us to think about. Thank you so much for reading and dropping me a note! My parents will be married 50 years in 2020!
You are truly an inspiration to so many! Your words are so eloquently written and what amazing work you are doing! I thank God for you and I pray that He continues to bless you and your beautiful family!! I love you Nicole😘
Thank you so much! Sometimes I feel like God is talking through me and I am just typing. Love you too!
happy sunday to you! plan on writing some late today
So beautifully written. I was always amazed by some of the stories your mom would tell. I guess you never know how strong you are until you are tested! Its a testament to your parents the outlook you have in life! God bless. You have a beautiful family❤
ahhhh, thank you so much…they are a mess!and thank you for following this journey! xoxoxox
Excellent article, Nicole!
Thank you so much Mary! So glad you are in this little community!
Happy to be here!
I’ll be in Ohio sometime in June – wish I could see that niece of yours!
Hey there, I think your blog might be having browser compatibility issues.
When I look at your website in Ie, it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping.
I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other then that,
Oh geez! I wonder how to fix that? Is that only in Internet Explorer? Thanks for the heads-up and for reading!
Thanks for finally writing about >All Good In Life, We Teach Our Children – Nicole Allshouse
Thank you!And I appreciate you reading it!
Hi there, constantly i used to check web site posts here early in the daylight, since i enjoy to learn more and
Thank you! I hope you can feel inspired and continue to read stories here!
Hmm is anyone else encountering problems
with the pictures on this blog loading? I’m trying to find out if its a
problem on my end orr if it’s the blog. Any feed-back would bbe greatly appreciated.
Hmmmm – I have not heard of anyone having problems with pics? They are loading fine on this end.
Is yours working fine now?