December 24, 2012

Listening skills and honesty

Category: Being Parents
[This incident took place at the kids’ department of a shopping mall]
After going on the free merry-go-round ride available at the kids’ section, Spud decided that she was going to let herself loose and started playing, or rather, banging away and pressing all the keys of an electronic keyboard on display that was placed next to the merry-go-round.

Not wanting to condone the act – given that I do not want her to be the last person to be playing on that thing and be the unfortunate one who broke it and us having to unnecessary pay for it, even though other kids were playing with it, I pulled Spud aside, got myself to her level and tried to reason out with her.

Me (in a very gentle voice): Spud. I need you to listen to mama. You cannot play with the keyboard anymore. We have to go, OK.

Spud then looked at me, one hand on the keyboard and the other hand trying to break-free from my grip before replying this: “No. Not listening. Not listening to Mama now”, at the same time shaking her head in such earnest.

She said all that as calmly as she could, with no temper tantrums; complete with eye contact and all.
I was at a little loss for words as her reaction kind of threw me off. I didn’t expect the comment and while I felt a little annoyed that she would not step away from the electronic keyboard, I really couldn’t get mad at her. After all, she’s barely 2.5years old and she was just trying to tell me that yes, she heard me – acknowledged me even – but at that point in time, she felt that she really did not want to listen because she wants to continue playing with it.
I didn’t know how to react, and I could not get angry outright even if I wanted to. At least, to her credit, she was being completely honest with me.
I got where she was coming from – granted, she was only trying to express how she felt and wanting me to listen to what she had to say. Sigh.

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