How to Be Amazed by Your Kids

For some reason, I have the compulsion to overanalyze everything. I blame it largely on Amazon. Recently, I just wanted to order a new pair of running shoes. But, like always, I waded first through the results, and then all the other categories—highly rated, more results, brands related, related searches, buy it with, reviews, and related products. I was so overwhelmed I decided just to run in one of my six pairs of lawn-mowing shoes. If running shoes does all that to me, just imagine how overwhelmed I am with my kids.

My overabundance of analysis often leads me to be negatively amazed at why they do what they do. Maybe you, too, have thought things like, “I’m amazed this baby is still crying. We’ve done all the things.” “I’m amazed this 4-year-old is still hiding behind my leg. Why is he so shy?” “I’m amazed my teenager can’t see how great he is at soccer. I encourage him all the time.” But something powerful happens when we are positively amazed with our kids. Here are a couple of thoughts on how to be amazed by kids.

Why Being Amazed at the Negative Things Is Not Good

Amazement is defined as “a feeling of great surprise or wonder caused by something impressive, unexpected, or inexplicable.” It’s easy to allow a relatively new behavior to give us too much of an impression of who are kids are and how they’re doing. “He was just disrespectful to his mom; he’s about to go through that terrible teenage phase.” “I never thought she would just blow off her curfew. She must be hanging out with the wrong kids.” “She’s been moping around the house all weekend. She must be depressed.”

Or we take the route of trying to explain to ourselves, and our kids, what we have deemed as inexplicable. When we are negatively amazed by our children’s negative actions, we become more reactive, lose perspective, and become less effective in supporting our kids. Yes, it is important to consider our kids’ negative actions. But we need to remember our kids’ brains and bodies are constantly riding an ever-changing chemical rollercoaster. Let’s make sure to consider the bigger picture. This view helps us to be calmer, wiser, and safer for our kids.

Why Being Amazed at the Positive Things Is Great

Now let’s flip this whole amazement thing on its head. What if, when our kids do something positive, even for the millionth time, we view it with a sense of great surprise and wonder? What if we were so impressed to the point that it were inexplicable? Let’s never forget our children are inexplicable miracles. We should feel 100% freedom to be utterly amazed by the positive things we see in our kids.

“I’m amazed I get to be your dad.” “I’m amazed at how you protect your sister.” “I’m amazed how you keep trying at school even when it’s challenging.” “I’m amazed at how much I love watching you dance.” “I’m amazed at how much I love and like you.” Kids are drawn to people who see the good in them. When you give that gift to your kid, you both will feel something that can only be defined as “a feeling of great surprise or wonder caused by something impressive, unexpected, or inexplicable.”

Sound off: What amazes you about your kid?

Huddle up with your kids and ask, “Do you know what amazes me about you?”