Forgive Like a 3-Year-Old
“He took my toy, Miss Kris”, I hear shouted across the room. “He took it! Miss Kris, he took my toy.” Boy, have I heard this phrase a lot in my classroom over the years!
I teach three-year-old preschool. Three-year-olds come with a set of eyes that are only fixed on their own path. They do not see other students in the room. They see a toy they want, and they see nothing else until they get it.
We teach social skills in preschool, although COVID-19 has made it mighty difficult. We ask the kids to “share” and “take turns” and “watch the person in front of you.” I have learned though, that most three-year-olds are in their own bubble. Most three-year-old kids have one thing in common…a short memory. When a toy is being disputed over, after the problem has been dealt with, most kids just let it be, they do not carry a grudge.
I have decided recently that I want to forgive and forget like a three-year-old. Really, though, would it not be great if everyone was able to forgive like a three-year-old. Most of them, (although it must be initiated by a teacher) will forgive at the drop of a hat. Someone says sorry and the other one says OK. They move on and forget.
You see, you can distract almost any three-year-old with “something else” to play with. Before you know it, if you hype it up enough, the toy they thought they wanted is a thing of the past and they will be pushing everyone out of their way to the new toy! As an adult when someone takes my toy, although let us be honest…it is never a toy. It is usually a feeling or an event that hurts me. I want justification. Unfortunately, adults do not always redirect like three-year-olds can.
I pray that Jesus will rest in my heart and remind me that events are in the past, there is no going back to doing it differently. The real trick is how I handle it right now and how that will affect my future. I am determined to learn as much as I can from my three-years-olds. I am learning to “redirect myself” when I’m feeling like I need an apology. After all, Jesus forgives me the minute I ask for it.
Director of Noah’s Ark Preschool