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So What Had Happened....

One of the many things I love about the spaces I happened to attend is the ability to see something happen in real time and then work backwards of how it happened. Prime example once I was in a very popular store and a child was having a meltdown. Now to anyone looking, they may have guessed that it was simply a child having a tantrum. However, if they did not look closer than that is the only perspective that they would have on the event. Listening to this child sob loudly, “You said we were going to the park…this is not the park!” Now, for this child being in this store was NOT what he had planned. It is also not what the mother had said would happen either.

Now, I could see the mother’s frustration and embarrassment as she watched her child cry and scream. She tried to speak in a firm but hushed tone to the child these words “I know I said we were going to the park today but, mommy had to make a quick stop at the store. We are almost done and then we will go to the park.” What I cannot say is that the mother intentionally chose to actively upset her child by going to the store first. I also will not make that assumption. However, I want us to take the perspective of the child for a moment.


I am dressed in my best play clothes. In my head I am mapping out the playground of what equipment I am running hastily towards. As we get in the car, my legs are bouncing up and down in the car as we ride to the park! I am excited!!!!!!THE PARK!!!! Wait…where are you going…you just past the park…maybe we are going closer to the playground…no…no…no…no…no…NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. “Mommy, you missed the park! Where are you going! The park is back there! (Insert tears and sobbing). I don’t want to go here…I don’t want to go to the store…I want the park!” How did they both get here? So, what had happened was this. MISSED communication leads to miscommunication.


My little friend dressed in jeans, maybe their favorite tennis shoes, superhero shirt, and now tear streaked cheeks. Now my little friend is re-playing every time I was told one thing and something else happened. Will life always be like this for me? Can I count on this person to do what they say they will do? How do I know that this person I call Mommy will always keep her word? Please understand that I am not saying that is what is going on in the head of this little fellow. However, I wonder what would have happened if the mother had simply said “I have a stop to make before we go to the park. After we make a stop at the store, we will go to the park.”. Maybe there might not have been any tears and no missed communication. What an amazing thing to happen for the relationship between parent and child!

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