While having dinner last night with my kiddo, we talked about how things were going.
Me: “How are you doing?”
Kiddo: “Pretty good. But, I could be better.”
M: “What do you mean? How could you be better?”
K: “If I could go back to being a baby, things would be better. More people would want to be with me. More people would come up and say, ‘Hi.’”
Me, heartbroken: “How do you know that?”
K: “People are always coming up to babies, but not to me.”
Me: “It’s not you, it’s them. Babies bring out something in people, a newness, hope, awe of discovering new things. If you went back, you wouldn’t have been able to tell me this awesome discovery you just had.”
I then went on to tell kiddo how I had done the exact thing he complained about that day. While at the library, there were at least 10 kids there. I paid particular attention to a baby, listening to the coo’s, gurgles, and fussing. I did watch a few kids give an impromptu puppet show, but otherwise the other kids were just there, like books on the shelves.
I wanted to solve these feelings of inadequacy and inattention for my kiddo. I started focusing on reasons…some people are baby people, some are not…some people stay away from kids to avoid sending the wrong message…etc. Pulling myself out of my reasons and justifications, I was able to make the parallel between material from The Arbinger Institute. Their books, “Leadership and Self-Deception” and “The Anatomy of Peace” discuss how mindset drives behavior. These books talk about how we see others: as people like us versus objects. It’s a deeper sense that refers to our “way of being.” (For more info, seek out the books and visit https://arbingerinstitute.com)
I was definitely seeing most of these children at the library as objects, not as people who have hopes and dreams as valid as mine. After all, I was there with a list of things to accomplish…hello, awareness!
I get it. I get that he feels ignored and invisible: object-like.
I get that our behaviors are an outward extension of what’s going on for us, including how we view the world and the nouns—people, places, and things in it. Today, be mindful of how you’re engaging with your surroundings…because a 6 ½ year old can pick up on it and it’s leaving an impact!