Sunday, January 10, 2010
When Kids Want to Help
When my oldest daughter, Keeley, was around four years old, we lived with my parents and two sisters. We all shared one bathroom, and my sisters and I would align our contact lenses on the sink in a particular order so that we could find them easily.
One morning before we all awoke to get ready for work, Keeley decided to help us by washing our hard contact lenses for us (you can see where this is going).
Unscrewing the lid on the first case, she placed the lens between her finger and thumb just as she had seen us do a hundred times before, and one by one, she watched the water wash them down the drain.
Not one to quit, Keeley reminded herself that "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again."
But what happens when six contact lenses fall down the drain and you can't wash them anymore?
Well, if you're four years old, you don't say anything and hope nobody will notice.
Unfortunately, blind as we were, we ALL noticed. And who did everybody yell at? Me!
And Keeley. Like my sisters, I was infuriated.
All poor Keeley was trying to do was help and we yelled at her for it.
We should have placed our contact lenses higher up so she couldn't reach them. We should have thanked her for trying to help, but we also should have explained to her that she had to ask if she wanted to handle things that belonged to somebody else. We also should have remained calm.
But we weren't thinking "thanks" when we saw $60 (cost at the time) wash down the drain. We were angry. We should have tried to see it from her point of view. But we didn't. All the shoulda-coulda's in the world wouldn't have helped us see anything from her point of view, because we were all so angry.
So I guess the point of this blog is to remind parents to keep important articles out of the reach of small children and to pay attention to your child's motives when he or she tries to help.
If nothing else, the experience will make for a great blog some day.
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