Engaging Each Day with Action Words

Piece. — Who knew you could learn so much from a 4 year old and an Avengers puzzle?

on January 3, 2013

Four year olds really know how to live. And if you watch my four year old put together his new Avengers puzzle, you can get a few important  lessons on life.

There are 100 pieces to this puzzle. They are different shapes and sizes and when he throws them all out over the coffee table, they look like a huge mess and you wonder if he can really do this by himself. You also wonder just how long he will be able to keep up with all of the pieces before one gets lost.

But then…if you can… relax … and watch him go to work on this challenge.

I did this. Here is what I learned:

1. You start with what you know. You focus on the important stuff.

You build the people first.

In this case, the superheroes.

They are the first things that get ‘pieced’ together. They stand out the most. They have the brightest colors, the expressions. They deserve to go together first–they are in fact the most important part of the puzzle.

And I thought, he’s right. Shouldn’t the people in our lives, come… first?

2. You start in the middle and work your way out.

When I was younger, my grandmother told me that you always start with the pieces with the flat edges. You find all of those and you build the frame first. I tried to pass that sage advice on to the boy child, but he had other plans. I don’t say this often, but I think this time, she might have been wrong, after all. Sure, it is another way to do it. But the frame is not usually the most exciting part of the puzzle. Yes, it holds it all together, but it is usually just the background pieces, the landscape.

The action, the real action is right in the middle of the puzzle.

Why not start there and let the background fall into place as you get to it? Again, he’s right. The action is where it is at. It is not the clean counter tops or the folded laundry in drawers…it is the wii tennis tournament challenge in the middle of the living room from Y.

3. It is ok to ask for help, but you want to put the piece in by yourself. You can’t let someone else do it FOR you.

And it is. It is ok to ask for help. Ultimately, he’s right again. I can show him where a piece might go, but he has to figure out the direction. He has to be the one who turns it over, matches the shapes and colors. He has to be the one to determine if it is a good fit.  We never really learn, unless we learn to do it ourselves.

4. You have to keep going. Take a break, sure. Have a bowl of ice cream. But then keep at it. You will get faster, the pieces will come together easier.

There are sweet things in life that must be enjoyed. Sometimes we have to stop. Take a breather and then come back at something with even more perseverance and determination.

5. Sometimes you have to get IN the puzzle to really make it all come together.

He said to me, “Ok, this top part … is the hard part. I have to look close.” Isn’t that true? When things get hard; when things are difficult–You do have to really be there. Pay attention. Focus. Get in it and get messy. And if nothing else works, change your perspective.

and one more….

6. Be proud of it. Leave it out. Admire it. Call people from the other room to come and see it.

Life is made to be shared with others. Don’t hide your accomplishments. Share your talents.

Let’s All Go, Do That.


6 responses to “Piece. — Who knew you could learn so much from a 4 year old and an Avengers puzzle?

  1. Jan says:

    That is a brilliant analysis. I watched him worked that puzzle and marveled at his speed. But
    I failed to glean these life lessons. Thanks for making me more aware X and Y and S.

  2. We can learn so much from our super kids! 🙂

  3. […] feel like I have spent the last year trying to put together a million piece puzzle. forcing pieces where they don’t belong. stumbling upon the few that fit […]

Comment Challenge: Start your comment with one action word. Then Proceed. Go:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: