Saturday, August 05, 2006

She noticed

Leah surprised me this morning. As she was happily eating her pancakes she asked "Mommy, why do parents yell at their children?"

WOW. Where do I go from here?

I thought to myself for a moment wondering what has she seen. And thinking if she was concerned about me or my husband raising our voices with them. So I figured that this was something really concerning her. She was looking up at me with her big hazel eyes and sweet smile, trying to read my expression, which I might add must have been a look of pure confusion.
"I'm sorry Leah, but Mommy isn't quite sure why. Is this something you noticed at home or at school?"

"Well, my friend at school, her parents yell at her all the time. Everyday. When they come to take her home, always yelling at her."

"How does your friend feel?"

"Mostly sad. We talk about it at school. She asked me lots of questions. She wishes they wouldn't yell at her so much. She thinks she would feel happier if they would stop."

"Why do you think parents yell at their children? Do Mommy and Daddy yell at you too much?"

"No, you don't yell. I think you yell when we do something wrong. I don't think my friend does anything wrong when her Mommy and Daddy come to take her home."

I wish I could tell you that this didn't tear out my heart, that I am not concerned, but it did and I am. This is obviously something bothering Leah, and her empathy for her friend has caused her to seek guidance. This is Leah's first real need, a request, for our parental wisdom. I would have preferred to discuss this more with her but alas the pancakes ran out and there was an early morning of play ahead of her. She excused herself and went out to ride her scooter.

I sat and thought deeply about this one. I need to determine how to give her the proper advice. To describe how to be supportive of her friend and listen. And most of all communicate with Mommy and Daddy about things like this so we all can talk about it and learn.

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