Browsing recently in a large children’s resale store, I observed a mom and her little girl, probably around two-and-a-half, in the aisle ahead of me.
The little girl was sad as she slowly followed her mom. She really wanted to use a child’s shopping cart, but someone else was playing with it. Mom slowly moved along, looking at the clothes items on the rack, but noticed her daughter lingering back to watch the lucky child with the cart.
She called to her to come, that she needed to stay by her, to which the little girl then began to cry – even as she came – “But I want to use the shopping cart”, she whimpered.
Mom, continuing to browse, said gently, “I know, honey. I’m sorry.”
With that this little girl continued to sniff a bit more, pulled herself together, then shakily said, “I can use it when that boy is done with his turn”.
“Yes you can” said her mom as they slowly continued down the aisle.
I was impressed – with both of them. The mom heard her daughter’s sad feelings and validated them – yet didn’t rush into try to fix it for her, with all kinds of other suggestions and things she could do. She just heard her and accepted why she was sad. The little girl felt her mom’s strength and confidence in her – in a way, I think, knew it was her own to resolve – which she bravely did.
“I can use it when that boy is done with his turn”.
Such a perfect example of allowing our children their sadness – acknowledging that it’s there, but trusting them to get through it.
“Yes, you can”.
Check out The Parenting Place’s upcoming workshop,” How Much is Enough? Recognizing Overindulgence” – Thursday, January 22nd, 6-7:30 PM, at The Parenting Place in La Crosse. Limited childcare is available. Registration for the workshop and childcare is required – 784-8125. Fran Swift – Facilitator.