“Daddy! Stop! My Legs Are Too Short!” – Life Lesson #312

We are walking across the parking lot.  I have my 5-year-old daughter’s hand in my hand.  I am sub-consciously walking quickly trying to catch up with the rest of the family.  And then I hear the sweet, beautiful, almost-panicked little voice say, “Daddy!  Stop!  You are going too fast.  My legs are too short. I can’t keep up.”

In an instant my heart smiles and my heart sinks.  The precious little voice saying “my legs are too short” brings one of those precious and cute moments from a young child that I want to remember for a life time.  The realization that I was nearly dragging my daughter across the parking lot because of my self-oriented one-track focus made my heart sink.  I was not paying attention to the big picture and, in my desire to “get there”, I was creating a difficult situation for my daughter.


Life Lesson #312: If you move too fast, your kids will never be able to keep up.

Avoiding the Emergency Room
Most of us have a height and weight advantage over young children.  This position comes with a responsibility to those who are younger and smaller – we need to pay attention to our physical surroundings in order to protect our kids.  Sometimes this is by remembering to walk at the speed of the child who’s hand you are holding.  Sometimes this is by picking up and holding close the child that needs to be carried or needs the extra protection.  Sometimes this is by simply helping our child to see the things ahead of them that they do not know to look for.  In other words, instead of focusing on just ourself, we have to intentionally be aware of our surroundings and those that we have charge over.

Life Lesson #312.1: If you move too fast, you will look like the enemy.

Leading Instead of Being The Enemy
There is a leadership principle that teaches us that if we are a few steps ahead of our followers, then we are seen as the leader; but, if we are too far ahead, then we look like the enemy.  The same principle is true with our children and families.  We must be a little ahead in order to lead our families well.  However, we appear to be the enemy when we are so far ahead of our families that they don’t know or can’t see our thoughts, vision or expectations.  Sometimes this happens when our thoughts and expectations change rapidly.  Sometimes this happens when we neglect to communicate our vision and expectations with our family.  We have to remember that we spend a whole lot more time with our thoughts than anyone else does and our family has no way of knowing what we are thinking unless we intentionally tell them.  We have to intentionally lead our family to where we are.

Slow down.  Be intentional.  Communicate often.  Lead with purpose.  And help those around you to keep up.


Photo Credit: cooldesign at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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