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On Broken Reflectors and Sensitive Children

March 6, 2014

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Anyone that’s ever been to the northeast (US) during the Winter months knows that getting out of doors for some exercise can get kind of tricky, especially with two little ones in tow.  B recently surprised me by setting my bike up with a trainer stand so I can ride it indoors.  The kids think this set up is fascinating.  (It is!)  All the gentle but firm reminders in the world could not squelch their curiosity (but do we really want to anyway?).  One morning I came downstairs after getting dressed to find myself with a broken front reflector.

My reaction was as calm as could be.  I wasn’t happy that the reflector was broken but I didn’t think it was worth getting worked up over either.  I believe I said something about mama’s bike not being for little ones and then we moved on to breakfast.

Some time later, after breakfast, O came down the stairs from his art space and gifted me the reflector you see above.  He had made it to replace the broken one.  I can’t tell you how moved I was by this gesture from this little person that I love so very much.  It never occurred to me that he would give the reflector a second thought and here he was trying to make it right, showing me he cares.  Showing me how though I never let on that I might be even a little upset, he knew.

Children are so much more in tune to their environments and the feelings of those around them than we often give them credit for.  This whole sequence of events really has me considering how the reactions we choose shape our lives and our relationships with those we care about the most.  When the kids broke something of mine, I made a decision to stay calm.  I didn’t act like the object was disposable, but I didn’t lecture them either.  This calm, reasonable reaction was enough to let my children know what they had done wasn’t ok without putting un-needed stress on our relationship.

Parenting isn’t always easy and I’m certainly not saying I always get it right with this mothering gig, but this time I believe I did.  For that I’m grateful.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. March 6, 2014 1:11 pm

    A really sweet post Carrie. Sometimes we get it right! Good for you for trying to get some exercise – it has been tough this winter. I agree that as parents, we need to watch our reactions. I work with this everyday. With so many pets in the house, there is always something that frustrates me – an accident, a fight, just general chaos, etc. It is easy to say some choice words when I am frustrated and then I get frustrated even more, because in the grand scheme of things, what I am dealing with is not a big deal and I need to be a calm presence for my little babe. My word for the year was “aware”, so I have to try and be more aware of how I handle things.

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