One night, after saying our prayers, JJ said his usual jubilant “AMEN” LOUDLY to the angst of his sister who has always expressed unhappiness over his noisy shouts of amen.
She was more upset than normal and ignored my usual “it’s okay, Vera, no need to get upset over this…”
So I had to bring her out from the room and explain to her that JJ enjoyed praying and expressing himself with a loud shout of praise and amen to God. It wasn’t that he was annoying her on purpose (though at the back of my mind I did wonder if there is that possibility too.)
I told her that we all express our love and joy in different ways, some through loud noises, some through softer words. None of us are wrong in preferring one way or another but we show love and respect by accepting and tolerating our differences.
I then reassured her that JJ loves her and that I do too. “We are unique and different but we love each other all the same.”
A hug and kiss later, she seemed much better. As we climbed back to bed, I thought about how she might have felt “unloved” because of how JJ seemingly ignored her wishes.
All she seemed to need at that point was reassurance of love…and to know that it’s not true that behaving differently equals “unloving”.
I reckon this lesson will take many repeated reminders and experiences to really sink in, but I hope a small seed has been sown. And hopefully she’ll grow to appreciate the beauty of their differences one day.
Little kids can be rather rigid and insistent on their own ways at times. How can we teach them to be more accepting of differences? I learnt that it is a slow process, a process that begins with us communicating our love and acceptance of them, for who they are…
Do you have similar experiences too?
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