Though many describe parenting as instinctive, Faith and I discovered how important it is to be conscious about the reactions we exhibit to our kiddos behaviour.
Two days ago Faith fell asleep. Anne continued her doodling, or so she thought. When Faith woke she discovered a lock of her hair on the floor. Anne had decided to play hairdresser on her sleeping mother.
What Faith told me that night was an important lesson. She had decided to be angry at Anne's actions, hoping to prevent any further snipping exercises, but in retrospect realised that being angry was the wrong course of action to take. Anne wasn't defiant as she sometimes is when in the wrong, but confused. After all, her grandmother cuts her hair on a regular basis, and she was just mimicking what adults do with a pair of scissors.
This evening Anne wanted a piece of buttered toast. After toasting and buttering it, I put it on her plate, and she took the plate out to the living room. On the way she fumbled and the bread fell unto the the floor. Buttered-side up, thank goodness.
My initial reaction was a groan of frustration – it was a fair amount of work getting that slice of bread toasting to perfection. Anne immediately looked down and whispered "I'm sorry". It would have easily been out of earshot if I were going through the typical parental tirade of how hard life is…but I heard it because I was at the crossroads of making a decision on how to deal with this.
I squatted down, opened my arms and asked her to hug me. You should have seen the smile on that face. As we embraced I told her that it was ok, and that accidents happen. I brushed the piece of toast, which she duly consumed, butter smeared over her face and all.
I was too lazy to toast another piece of bread. 🙂

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