Girls Night In

the blog for single, over-40 women

6 Reasons Singles Should Cultivate Relationships with Kids

on June 13, 2014

Today I felt inspired to write a children’s story. It’s something I’ve always imagined doing, mostly because I thought it would be fun. The inspiration was, surprisingly, an annoying little summer cold I came down with a few days ago. While sniffing, sneezing, snorting and a-chooing, it hit me kids would probably enjoy those words in a book. And that’s how Tricia Mae Is Sick Today was born.

The Kids

Three of the creative, one-of-a-kind kids who bring so much joy and laughter into my life. Photo by Susie Jarvis.

Something like this would not have happened, I’m sure, if I it weren’t for the relationships I have with children. So when I chatted with a woman recently who doesn’t have any youngsters in her life, it struck me how much she was missing . . . and how grateful I am for these relationships.

All of which led me to come up with the following list of reasons singles should have children as a regular part of their lives:

 

  1. They offer unconditional love—
    In fact, I would say kids want to love you. They start out willing to give you a chance be someone they care about. It’s up to you to take that chance. As for me, I know my nieces and nephew love me, no matter what I say or do. And they know I adore them and would never hurt them.
  2. No one can hug you like a child will—
    Melt-into-you, nothing-held-back hugs that make everything seem better. Trust me. When you’re having a bad day—and even when you’re not—improve your mood with a hug from a little one.
  3. They keep you young at heart—
    Frog People

    Frog People. I’m on the left. And yes, I have leaves sticking out of my blouse.

    On Labor Day last year, my oldest niece and two of her friends decided they wanted to make a movie about three schoolgirls who are kidnapped, escape into the woods and stumble upon a strange group of “frog people” who help them find their way home. So we, the adults, put on funny costumes and made funny faces for a fun little movie our families will always cherish. The picture to the right shows us in all our silly, froggy glory.

  4. They inspire your imagination—
    From characters in my books and scripts to dressing up in a crazy costume at a moment’s notice, I stay on my toes, creativity-wise, thanks to the kids in my life. They certainly make me consider things I never would have otherwise.
  5. Children forgive and forget easily—
    While shopping at a surf shop on vacation last week, my 9-year-old niece skipped up to me and asked if I’d give her five dollars. She was adorable but I was distracted and said no. Just like that. I didn’t even think about it . . . until later, when I felt horrible. So I found her and apologized. And she smiled and said, “That’s OK!” and bounded off again. She didn’t hold a grudge. Her feelings weren’t hurt. She loves me just the same as always.
  6. You can pass things on to them, even if you’re not related—
    Having someone to leave a legacy to was a concern of mine before I became an aunt. Now I would love to have something to leave these wonderful children. And, hopefully, they’ll be there for me should I need help when I’m older.

If you don’t have nephews and nieces, there are other opportunities to foster relationships with kids. Become a Big Sister. Teach a Sunday School class, like fellow GNI writer Tammie. Another author on the blog, Jackie, is godmother to a good friend’s daughter. Be a volleyball coach, direct a kid’s play, invite a group of students to your house for a cookout, get together with other singles and offer your church’s families a free night of babysitting.

Give a little of yourself and you’ll be amazed and delighted by all you get in return.

So, if you have children in your life, what would you add to the list? If not, is that a situation you’d like to change? Do you think you’ll take any of the suggestions here?

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One response to “6 Reasons Singles Should Cultivate Relationships with Kids

  1. Carole Brown says:

    I love, love, love this. So right. Good job, Sharyn!

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