Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Choosing Reactions

When this necklace snapped (two girls wanted to wear it at once), I remember breathing in and out through my nose, biting back the "I knew this was going to happen / I told you so," and saying, "That's a shame.  The consequence of what has happened here is that we have a lot of picking up to do, don't we?  And we may lose a few beads of this necklace."  Esky stopped crying immediately and called out, "I'll go and get a container to put the beads in!"  She ran.  We all three gathered the beads and filled it as best we could.  Unprompted, Ivy said, "Sorry, Esky."

It was while Esky and I were threading the necklace back together that we talked about how to manage a situation where something we value is desired by someone else, what to do when we want something back, and how to learn from what happened on this occasion.  I'd venture a lot more of what we discussed sunk in during the rethreading than would have during a little person's stormy reaction to the explosive pop and scatter of the necklace.  In fact, the conversation we did have was almost worth breaking a necklace for.

I'm not saying I always get these things right, (I don't), I am recording a moment I valued.  A time where natural consequences prevailed and they were a better teacher.  I need to learn to allow things to break, fall, and play out as they are more often; the proverbial broken necklace so often teaches so much better than the intervention to save it.  And that necklace's value has multiplied for it.
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