"I'm leaving!" the mother says and starts to go, turning the corner, where her daughter cannot see her.,
The little girl looks up, and starts to cry: Mama!
Mother returns: We have to go, come now, or I'll go without you!
The child's face is in the pile of leaves.
Child cries again and finally starts walking in the direction of her Mom.
I want to say to her: You know, she's not doing this against you...but I am silent.
The little girl reaches her mother and hands her a little something she found as a present
Mother for a split second: Very sweet, BUT, you must come when I call you! You must come!
I find I am really affected by this exchange. These few moments, for me, condense the way we so many times handle situations. I don't mean to sit here in judgment. I've BEEN ( and maybe still am) that Mother. An eternal, hands full, looking tired with two young 'uns Mother who hasn't got a clue what to do and just wants to get on with her day. I've BEEN that Mother who finally threatens her child...
and I probably was the child who was frightened into complying, not understanding her "crime".
My heart goes out to both of them,
And I know there is another way out of it. A peaceful way. A word or two of Empathy on the adults part could go a very long way. Something like: " Wow I see you really like those leaves, right?" and " You really want to stay here a little longer, yeah?"
Sounds obvious and maybe a little too dumb to say, but in these two questions, so many underlying needs get met. First and foremost connection. The child feels hat she is seen, the Mother is WITH her child in her experience, and therefore may even relax a minute or two long enough to enjoy a special, magical moment with her child. And then she might say, I really want to get going, to which her child might still resist, to which the Mother may drop another: "It's hard to leave, isn't it?" So much is taught here...gentle consideration.
I'm not saying it's easy. That Mom needs a ton of Empathy sent her way in her predicament. And yet, it's possible.
This exchange won't take longer than the usual, and it will create ripples of peace and understanding that might reach out into generations to come.
I have used Empathy in many situations, and by no means all of them. My children are living proof that when their needs are heard and taken into consideration, they will grow up to be kinder more capable of compassion in a world that to this date, knows mostly the language of dominance and fear.
|my darling and I|