A crying child runs into the house from outside, seeking comfort. The well-meaning parent's first words: "What happened?!"
This common reaction is one of many subtle ways we teach our children values that we ourselves never consciously chose...
- What happened (the past) is more important than what's happening now (the present).
- Reason is more important than emotions. You can't simply have a feeling; you have to explain why.
- Things happen TO you. You don't create your own experience.
A few decades later, this child will be reading Daily Groove messages reminding her to stay present, that feelings are important, and that we do create our own experiences! :)
The next time you're about to ask your child what happened, decide instead to be still — to be fully present with your child, appreciate his or her emotional journey, and enjoy the feeling of connection.