As we drove down the road in our family car, I noticed the pain in my shoulder, it has been there a while. I shifted uncomfortably in my seat and heard myself saying out loud but quietly, “My shoulder really hurts”. Our six year old son, who was sitting next to me, reached out his small hand and touched my shoulder. I felt my body relax immediately. Then he began to massage the painful area. We did not speak but instead, just looked at each other and smiled. Our son continued to massage my shoulder until he said in an almost apologetic tone, “My arm is achy”. “That’s okay” I replied “You can stop now, I feel much better and thank you”.
Sometimes, it seems as though we are running around trying to meet the “Needs” of our children without getting much back in return, apart from complaints and more demands. We may believe that practicing “Respectful Parenting” is a total waste of time when we do not seem to get any respect in return. But, I’m starting to notice that children do “Live what they learn” from us. Somewhere, beneath all our stories about each other and our selves, beneath the chaos of everyday reactions and emotions…..the kindness and respect we show to our children is always there.