no where to hide

September 22, 2009 at 4:46 am Leave a comment

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I don’t think we’ve ever mentioned this before but Echo can hear thoughts. She pulls ideas, words, names, straight out of our heads on a regular basis.

She will look at Bella and say: “Bella’s thinking about lemonade stands.”

And we say:  “Hey Bella whatcha thinkin’ about?”

And Bella says: “lemonade stands”.

What this means for us as her family members is that there are no secrets, no lies. What we say has to match what we feel and think. There is no fooling. Often even if I keep silent about something Echo will say: “What Mama!” She is irritated by my duplicity.

What I’ve realized is that a child does not have to be a mind reader to recognize when a parent’s thoughts and feelings don’t match their words. In fact we want to encourage their awareness of all the subtle cues involved in communication for that awareness is necessary for empathy. We want children to notice the slump of a friend’s shoulders and wonder if they are sad. We want them to see the crinkle of a forehead and feel concern.

If we, their parents, are seething mad but say to them instead (with a fake smile): “Oh honey, I’m fine. So what did you say you wanted to eat?”, what we are teaching them is to ignore their natural understanding of emotions.

If we want our kids to care about another person and their feelings then we actually have to express our feelings! It seems counterintuitive but if we want to teach them to care when someone is mad then when we are mad we need to scream out ” I am so mad right now!!!”. Do not hide your thoughts and feelings. You are not helping your children.

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love and clutter conversations…

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