I love this request from a two-and-a-half -year-old little guy who was in the playroom at The Parenting Place recently.
I watched him trying to reach a spot on his back unsuccessfully. Then he walked up to me – turned, backed up, and said “Find my tickle.” I assumed that he had an itch that needed to be scratched so I gently scratched his shirted, upper back for a few seconds. And I guess I assumed right, because I asked him, “Is that okay?” and he walked off, contentedly, no comment, “tickle” free.
Oh if all demands from our young children were so easy to comprehend and fulfill. Yet I notice parents everyday figuring out what their child’s “tickle” is and how to make things better. “She’s ready for her nap.” “He’s starving.” “She needs to get out and run.” “He needs to snuggle when he first wakes up.”
Recognizing and providing our children with the assistance and comfort that meet their needs of the moment is a huge part of parenting.
I walked a mom and her two little girls out to the car after Play Shoppe one day. The older child was feeling a little emotional but as she got into her car seat, her mom immediately handed her her special, very worn, very loved blanket, with the soft satin border. Her daughter was content right away and she shared with me how she loves the softness of the satin against her cheek.
Her “tickle” – found.
I read a book at Friday’s Play Shoppe called The Quiet Place. The little girl was looking for a quiet place. She had tea and a biscuit to enjoy. She looked in many different spots, and finally found one, settled down, when her little brother showed up – making lots of noise.
But, instead of fighting it, she shared her biscuit with him and realized “the quiet place was in her heart”.
I think that’s often the way it is for parents.
We try to grab a few quiet moments for ourselves and often they get interrupted, to find a child’s “tickle” – and in the process, instead of fighting it – we discover the quiet place we are looking for is in our heart.
May you all appreciate the work you do, meeting the needs of your children.
Have a very warm and loving Valentine’s Day!