Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Moms, Dads, Please Read
This incident reminded me of the words of Nobel Prize winning author Toni Morrison: "When a kid walks into the room... does your face light up? That's what they're looking for. When my children used to walk in the room when they were little, I looked at them to see if they had buckled their trousers, or if their hair was combed... You think your deep love and affection is on display because you're caring for them. It's not. When the kids see you, they see the critical face: "What's wrong now?" Then, if you let your face speak what is in your heart when they walked in the room... (I'm glad to see you). It's just as small as that."
Sometimes I forget to live life this way. Too many days my dialogue is all about "Clean your room, stop running in the house, sit down, keep your hands to yourself, if it's not yours don't touch it, why aren't you cleaning your room, be quiet, have you done your homework, go brush your teeth, let's go, I don't have time, why is your room still not clean!" It's not that I don't encourage my kids but I want to make sure the scale tips way on the side of love and affection.
I think of Ms. Morrison's words often. And when I do I make the effort to show my kids through my eyes that I love them and I'm glad to see them. They need to get that message from me.
I don't know much about Allison's home life. All I know is that somehow faulty thinking got through to this poor little girl. I hope she can hear from someone how valuable and beautiful she is, because she is far from ugly, but I don't think she believes that.