I’ve decided long ago to always acknowledge anything that my daughter will show me – no matter how busy I am and no matter how mundane it is that she wants me to see. And yet yesterday, I slipped.
As I was reading my kindle, Yesha emerged from our bedroom door carrying a new born kitten.
“Mommy, a baby cat!” She exclaimed excitedly.
“Bring the baby cat to her mommy. She needs milk.” I barked without acknowledging what she wanted to share with me.
So the poor little girl retreated back and went out of the door, unacknowledged.
I had a reason of course, the kitten is just a day old. And what if the mommy cat returned and did not find her kitten?
But then, on the other hand, what is giving a short acknowledgement and showing a simple interest, like saying, “oh a cute baby cat! Does she have a sister and a brother?” Instead, I just sent her on her way, just like that.
Are we not sometimes like this?
I remember Bo Sanchez’s story about a girl who baked a cake in her mother’s kitchen. Being just a child with no one to help, the kitchen turned into a shambles.
When the bell chimed, she knew her parents were home. So she hurriedly prepared the cake she made to show off to her parents. The moment she saw them, with the cake on her two hands, she exclaimed, “Mommy! I made a cake for you!”
The mother, mortified by the state of her kitchen, scolded her angrily, “What have you done?! Look at all the mess you’ve caused! Hurry and clean up the kitchen.” The poor child forgot about the cake and started cleaning up instead.
I’m just glad that this rarely happens with us and that this is not a pattern in our relationship. What would happen to my daughter’s emotional well-being if it’s a cycle?
She might feel unimportant, she might feel that anything she wants to share with me is not worthy of my attention, she might start keeping things to herself.
When we acknowledge our children and share in their simple joys, we increase their self-esteem. They would feel that they matter to us; they would feel that they are seen and not invisible . So a habit of showing interest and acknowledging them contribute a lot to their emotional well-being.
And as parents, we are the most important source of attention which our children need so much.
1. The New People Making by Virginia Satir
Photos 1,4,5 are from Pixabay