— Zac Chase (@MrChase) January 16, 2016
My children know what they want.
They want to have a snack. They want to play Minecraft. They want to have a playdate. They want to play with a particular toy. They want to go to the Library. They want to have dessert. They want to fight with one another. They want to play legos for 3 hours. They want to get out the door. They want to do everything in their power to avoid brushing their teeth.
They are really just a series of wants at this particular point, and that has a severe influence of what they think is important. They do not want to go to sleep, so it is not important to them. They do not want to clean their rooms, so it is not important to them. Most adults we would look at in the opposite way, though. As in, “driving is not important to her, so she wants to bike everywhere.” But with kids, it starts with the want and then you derive importance from that.
If I go by this metric, my three children want these things above all else right now, and so that means that these things are most important to them:
- Isabelle (9 Year Old Girl): Reading
- Tobias (7 Year Old Boy): Physical activity involving a ball
- Arlo (vey nearly 2 year old): Toy Trains
These are the most important things in their lives right now because they want them more than any other. Isabelle does not put down a book, even to eat breakfast. Tobias will ask for me to play catch with him even if we only have 3 minutes before we leave the house or go to bed. Arlo must play with trains, even as he goes potty. Trains are his iPhone in the bathroom.
I trust that they will want other things at some point and that other things will be “the most important in life”, but for now this question has a simple answer. I could make believe that family or love is more important, but that would just be me wishing that about them. It does not bother me that this is where they are. In fact, it makes me happy that my children haven’t yet reached the complexity of adolescence or adulthood. I want them to love Reading and Trains and Playing with Balls for as long as possible.