I saw the best thing at work today! A mother came into the store with her two small children. Adorable kids. Unfortunately, the smallest one, hardly older than two, poked a hole in one of the balloon toys and the water inside got all over his shirt.
The mother apologized and helped clean up the floor, then they stopped in my area for a few flowers to take home. The little boy was fussing about his wet shirt, pulling it away from his chest.
And the most wonderful thing happened! The mother knelt on the floor to put herself on eye-level with her child. She explained gently and patiently, holding eye contact, why she had asked him to be careful with the toys. He hadn’t listened and something had gotten broken.
She went on to say that she would take off his wet shirt, but since they had no extra clothes with them, he’d have to wait until they got home. He continued to fuss as she chose a few stems of flowers and paid for them, and she continued to tell him she was sorry he was wet, but he’d have to wait until they got home to change.
She didn’t yell at him for breaking the toy. She wasn’t sarcastic, telling him that if he had listened to her in the first place…
She gently explained the consequences of his actions. It did my heart good to see them together.
Luckily, we had a dry dish towel she could put between the wet shirt and his little chest until they got home.
And the best thing about this incident? I went to my family reunion this past summer and witnessed my amazing nieces and nephews treating their children with the same kindness and respect that this mother showed to her child. I feel privileged to know them.
With so many parents raising children in this loving, nurturing atmosphere, how can the world help but become a better place?