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Small mirrors

May 24, 2017

I am not good at that. 

I have not worked hard enough at that to be able to say I do it well. 

Can you read a difference?  What is that difference? Which do you say? And how would you perceive each coming from someone else?

Can you taste the words in the bittersweet aftermath of hearing your child say they can’t try something or do something or aren’t good at something?

This is not a quiz. It’s an exercise in thinking through the minutiae (to us) that we say and do every day. And taking the next step to consider how those small comments may be perceived and received by a child over and over again.

Think about it.

If you are like many parents, you can likely relate. You may not have realized words like this come from you often.

“Draw me a picture of a giraffe, mama.”

“Yikes. I don’t know how to draw a giraffe. How about a dog?”

“Read me this book in Italian, papa.”

“I don’t know how to read Italian. Let’s read this other book.”

It’s subtle. It’s simple. It’s true.

These small mirrors, these mirrors in varying shapes, sizes and colors that match us to different degrees, hear everything we say and do. They are reflecting it back to us, even when we don’t know it exists.

We cannot account for how our children will perceive the things we say that we think don’t mean much. We will never fully understand how they take it in, translate it to themselves and then spit it back out at us.

“I don’t want to try that new activity. I don’t know how to do that.”

“I can’t read that word. I don’t know how to read yet.”

“I don’t like that food. I won’t eat it.”

Parents who strive to be positive role models take care and attention in the feedback and guidance we provide to our children every day.

“That was very nice sharing you did with your friend/sister/brother/cousin/etc/”

Are we offering ourselves the same kindness? Are we allowing ourselves the same leeway for trying new things, acknowledging the things we don’t know, haven’t tasted or haven’t tried….yet?

 

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. June 4, 2017 21:55

    There is something to be said about the importance of being authentic with anyone really, including kids.

    Like

Trackbacks

  1. How much is too much? | Abbe's Road
  2. How much is too much? Part II | Abbe's Road

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