Before I was ever a mom, I learned one of my greatest lessons. We had a few friends over for an afternoon BBQ, and one couple brought their then 18 month old daughter. We all hung out, chatting, while this adorable little girl bumbled around, as new ‘walkers’ do. Suddenly (and also, as new walkers do) she fell down and my initial reaction was to jump up and ask if she was ok. Her moms reaction was much different.
When we see someone fall, we want to help them back up, verify that they’re in fact “going to make it” and then we feel better about ourselves…
This new mom explained that the reason she didn’t react was because baby’s typically have no clue how to react to things that happen in life. They’re new at this game and they will look to mom and dad to tell/show them how to react. They mimic us, we all know that… but this was the first time that it was put in this kind of example.
This little girl fell over, caught herself with her hands and knees… but in the end wasn’t actually hurt, so she looked to mom. Mom said, “you’re ok”, and she apparently believed her and moved on.
Myself, I’d never seen a parent react that way, but I’d also never seen a child react that way either and it has always changed my way of thinking.
As my kids grew up, they fell, the bumped their heads, they scratched their knees. Sometimes, they did so and went right back to playing, completely unaware that there was blood dripping from somewhere. In the background, I cringed, sometimes cried and honestly, sometimes giggled at how they managed to topple over, but my reaction to them was (and is) always the same. “You’re ok”