While many of our family traditions are not written or necessarily thought through; some are.
Over the years, in a bid to cultivate a close knit family system, my kids and I usually have a ten to fifteen minute chat as soon as they return from school each day. We exchange pleasantries, I ask routine questions and we quickly proceed to our small-talks. I am often eager to know how their day went. While a quick recap would do, I allow them to go into as much detail as they want to.
My little princess plays football. She’s the only girl in the school team by the way.
She comes home with her jersey all soiled, so it was not out of place to ask her how her sports day went. “Did you score a goal today, Claire?” I asked with a wide grin on my face. She said no as she began to pout. What happened? I inquired. “Nifemi scored a goal. He is 6 years old and has small feet.” My daughter responded. Errmmmm …. Not quite the answer I’d thought I’d hear. What do you mean, my love? I queried some more. Summarily, she was pretty upset that Nifemi scored a goal and she did not. She must have noticed that his feet were a lot smaller than hers too and wondered how someone with such small feet could score a goal. I guess that in a bid to make sense of it all, she resulted to coming up with the excuse that his victory was made possible because of his age. My daughter is four years old.
Kids say the darndest things right? Maybe …
Or perhaps, adults just need to improve on their communication skills; especially the aspect of listening.
So I listened some more. I sought to understand her posture about the day’s events. I felt her frustration. Only then could I offer some help. My response was not targeted at the incidences themselves or even at the other child who scored a goal. My focus was on her interpretation. I tried to explain to her in the language of a four year old about the importance of being at your very best regardless of the actions or inactions of others.
Was my explanation enough?! I doubt that it was. A seed had been sown, nonetheless.
Like a gardener would tend a flower, I intend to nurture this precious flower of mine. So help me God.