Just recently two different people, on two different days, at two different places commented on my Parenting style while observing my daughter and I dynamics. I felt it was something worth writing about so I would like to share with you my thoughts…
The first incident occurred when my 7-year-old daughter was sad and upset while waiting for a friend she was so eager to play with. Her little friend was at the hospital visiting a family member who was in a minor car accident. I saw the sadness in my baby’s face as she stared out the window waiting and waiting so I decided to ask her whats wrong although I knew exactly what was wrong, but that wasn’t the point. My baby was sad and I needed to console her and explain more to her. I wanted to hear how she felt, which is very important and I wanted her to know I cared how she felt. I also needed her to understand why her friend was late and added that she should show sympathy for this friend because she was with a family member that needed her more. Although it didn’t change the fact of her missing her friend’s company, she did begin to understand that sometimes things may not go how she wants it and she needed to be considerate and sympathetic. Little did I know someone was listening and observing everything I said and responded with “WOW!” I asked what did he mean and he just said it was really “awesome” how you are teaching your child sympathy and explaining and breaking it down for her to understand. He went on to say he witnesses many parents saying “quit crying” or “be quiet” when a child is crying about something they feel is unimportant. This is how my daughter and I communicate so I didn’t think anything of it but it did send me into deep thought about how we speak to our children and why our words are such a crucial part of parenting.
The second incident occurred the very next day at my eye exam and my daughter tagged along with me and as usual she was well-behaved and sat with me as I got my eyes checked. The nurse stopped and asked me if I am always this “calm and kind” to my daughter. She had apparently been watching us as we moved from the front desk, to the waiting room, and then to the exam room and she asked me how “do I do it.” I felt like I had done nothing! She began to tell her story about how she was a single Mom of two boys and her patience is very short with them because she is stressed and over worked. I sympathized with her as a single Mom and carrying the load of daily activities. We chatted for a while before the Doctor came in and I was thankful to be able to offer her some encouragement. I thought it was very peculiar how on two consecutive days this subject came up.
As a Mom it is so easy to get so busy, and become so tired and drained and your patience is thin. However, even in the midst of a busy days work effective and loving communication with our child(ren) is something so important. Talk to them how you would want to be talked to. Offer them the same patience and leniency you would want if you made an honest mistake. Use you manners and say “please” and “thank you” to them because you would want them to do that to you as well as to others. It should be do as I do not do as I say, be the example. They are precious, impressionable, delicate, magical beings and they deserve our very best. We must not get too wrapped up into life that we forget to take the time to completely stop and communicate with them and allow them to fully express their emotions. I am by no means a counselor or therapist but I am an advocate for healthy, loving, conversations with the little people we love the most! They deserve our best. One day they’ll grow up and their communication skills and how they handle situations will be based on what we taught them and how we raised them. They will remember the words we said and what we took the time to do with them. Would you want them to appreciate it or regret it? I am a firm believer of children expressing themselves. Let them speak, and you listen, this is the only way we know what is going on in their heads and if you’re like me I want to know everything that’s going on with my kid! I’m so thankful for those two individuals for taking the time to not only acknowledge that but also pointing out something so important that we sometimes forget. If nothing else this taught me people are always watching and listening! I’m going to end with the quote I used on my last post because it is yet again so relevant….
“Speak to your children as if they are the wisest, kindest, most beautiful and magical humans on the earth, for what they believe is what they become.” -Unknown