Easy to Miss

Easy to Miss

“We focus on our children’s weaknesses, tell them what they can’t do, and don’t even see them!”
This quote was from an astonished father as the power of the exact opposite – saying what you see – sank in. An example of not even seeing them showed up today as I was leaving my exercise class.

The front door was a commercial glass and metal door with a horizontal bar half-way up — the perfect height for the instructor’s four-year old to hang from. In seconds the child figured out it was even more fun to hang on the bar if you walked up the glass door.

Much to the  mother’s credit, she stayed calm. She simply told the child she couldn’t do that because the glass could break. The child stopped for a moment, then up came the feet again.

Like this mother, many parents would assume disobedience and react with another correction. But SAY WHAT YOU SEE parents know to observe, not assume. In this case I was able to point out the difference, so the mother could rethink her correction. Addressing the child, I said:

“You put your feet on the metal rim this time, so you wouldn’t hurt the glass.”

When the mother saw this, her annoyance switched to surprise. This is what it means to see your child.

She pointed out her daughter’s cleverness and repeated that hanging on the door was not OK. Since the child felt acknowledged, it was easy for her to get down and find something else to do. Mom noticed, so there was nothing left to prove.

Little moments like that are easy to miss, but powerful when you catch them. Have you  caught any lately?

1 Comment

  1. David Weiner |

    Accolades and more accolades for what you are doing. May non-violent, resonant parenting become a true tipping point in this nation — soon!


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