If parents can learn to act before reacting, all of life’s surprises can be turned to learning experiences. This takes patience and time, something the majority of parents have a short supply of. So how does this really work?
A three year-old, who just loves to assist in the kitchen, is always finding life full of little surprises. He was holding his egg, standing on a stool, waiting for someone to help him place the egg in the saucepan. He chose however, to experiment with the egg, as 3 year-olds just love to do, by firmly squeezing the egg between both hands.
Everyone knows it is not easy to squeeze an egg, but, if you are only 3 years-old, you will find ways that most others never discover. Given the right pressure points, an egg will literally blow up. (Try it sometime).
The youngster had such a stunned look on his face as egg dripped down his body, off his hands, running in a stream off the stool and dripping onto the floor. It is totally amazing how far an exploded and very tacky egg can spread itself.
It’s time to make a quick decision – blast into a string of angry and very hurtful comments, (a totally natural reaction), or take a deep calming breath and quietly deal with the situation. This is not always possible when there are a hundred things going on at once in the heat of the kitchen.
Very calmly, the young man kept assessing the situation and then pronounced slowly “I think we need a cloth!”
Once the stool and boy were both in the shower, the parent started a discussion with the child about what had just happened. They had both gained from the incident. The young boy learned that even hard shelled eggs have a breaking point and the parent had learned the value of acting instead of reacting.
Both ways the egg would have been cleaned up, but one way would have been in frustration, anger and tears, instead of turning it into a positive learning experience. Taking time out for a deep breath in a situation is far more healthy and rewarding for everyone involved in the long run.