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Out on the Limb


Friday, February 02, 2007

While at the zoo, I crossed paths with parents pushing their toddler in a stroller. Suddenly, the toddler let out a mighty scream, as toddlers are prone to do sometimes. It became immediately obvious that the father had accidentally pushed the stroller into the curb while the child's feet were hanging below the footrest thereby bending/brusing the little feet somewhat.

Up to this point, no blame has exchanged....um....feet.

The father was embarrassed. The mother spoke first to the child (irritated voice)..."We TOLD you not to hang your feet over the edge. Now you see what happens."

I am happy to see that the (assumed) Mom is examining and rubbing the child's ankles. However, she is still ranting "Do you see?......Will you keep your feet up?.....Are you listening?"

I am dismayed that neither parent has set a proper example for the child by asking, "Are you alright? I'm sorry you got hurt. Let's put your feet back up here so that doesn't happen again. OK?"

What might a child learn throughout the years with blame-oriented parents?
* I wasn't paying attention. I got hurt. It was my fault. They told me over and over again not to do that, but I forgot. Maybe I'm stupid. They don't like me when I make mistakes. I'll try harder.....and harder...........and harder..........................

......but it is never good enough. Is it.

How is the kid going to enjoy the zoo if he is always thinking and watching his feet? The Dad has had many years to practice mindfulness. Maybe he should have been watching where he was pushing. Why didn't the Mom take her irritation out on the Dad? Why was she irritated at all? Why didn't Dad gently stop the Mom from her rant? And what was that giraffe looking at, anyway? ...the nerve of some animals...
posted by Deb, 5:07 PM


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