Recently, my daughter was having a hard time taking off her slippers. I looked down and noticed my hand extended, waiting, it wasn't meant to hurry her, but I noticed that she kept glancing at the slipper and then my hand. I quietly put my hand down. Almost like magic her struggle melted away. Smiling, she handed me the slipper and I handed over a shoe. This time I put my hands away right away.
My hands at the ready, despite best intentions I have noticed can send a "hurry up" or "let me just do this for you" message. Not always...but sometimes, like the day with the slippers, my mind was rushing and planning how to efficiently handle the hectic school pick up schedule ahead. My hands were saying what I was trying not to say out loud..HURRY UP, we are going to be late!
Have you ever seen a parent tell a child not to hit another child, and then proceed to give little swat on the child's bottom?
What about while having a conversation with another adult, sternly requesting that a child not interrupt: “Don't interrupt, that’s bad manners!” or “Give me a minute!”. Later as our child is attempting to tell us something, another adult walks in and starts talking right over the child and we don’t stop the adult, no, in fact we listen intently and forget that we were listing to the child.
We tell our child to always tell the truth, and then we go ahead and tell them a fib, a white lie of sorts, which they later realize was not the truth after all.
A child asks to show us something and we say we'll be right there only to show up 5 minutes later because the smart phone kept us so busy. Later we wonder why the child will not budge from the computer desk when called and get mad "You should come when I call for you".
Which message is going to sink in? The words or the actions? The hurrying hands, the swatting, the interrupting...they all speak volumes over the actual words don’t they?
What happens if we take the time, if we make the time to let our heart and our intentions be kinder if not louder than words?
Peace & Be Well,