The power of projection of what we show in communicating with our children can have adverse effects of loving guidance when we lash out in simple mishaps from deep rooted frustration from other issues of concerns towards them. We have twin toddlers in our home, so we know that a spill of some sort is bound to happen at any giving time. Our twin daughter Payton so happens to make spills more often than anyone else. She’s very independent and looks up to her big sister doing whatever she does. She prefers to drink from a ” big cup” like her older siblings. I can put a cute toddler friendly cup with a lid for her drinks, but it doesn’t take long for her to climb from her chair to select the “big girl cup” of her choice. This however opens us up for a few spills. I can recall one incident where during one sitting at the table for lunch Payton made the mistake of spilling her juice twice. Her siblings looked at her in disbelief in making a double spill. I must admit that I felt a little flustered inside from having to clean up the sticky concoction twice which made me mumble something under my breath in thinking out loud of ” Not again !”, but looking at my daughter with her head down in shame made me rethink this whole “spill” thing in a different prospective .
More Than A Spill
I realized in that moment that I was not upset simply because my daughter made a mistake in spilling her juice. In truth, I had a lot on my mind following a challenging long week at work, stress with medical bills from a recent hospital stay with my husband, and thinking about all the housework I needed to finish with already beyond stretched hands. Her siblings were not just in disappointment of her little mishap that fell unto the floor. They were more nervous in fear of what could happen with my reaction to the scenario. I saw my daughter’s head hang low in sadness. I could only imagine from the outside looking in from the point of view of a tiny four year old seeing the person who they love so dear eye’s glaring like a praying mantis in a possible look of a major let down of ” Look what you’ve done again in ruining my life!” in being afraid to disappoint . I went over to Payton with a kitchen towel in my hand, and gave her a reassuring hug with the other hand. I saw her shy smile, and felt her take a deep breath in relief. I shared with her that it was just a mistake, and that I was proud to see her wanting to be a big girl. I told her siblings to reassure her as well that it was just a simple mistake, that we will help her clean it up, and that no one would ever be in trouble for a simple spill. I could feel a relief of tension exiting our lunch table in bringing sweet serenity again.
It’s Not Them
Payton’s spill had nothing to do with the frown that was on my face or my huff of disappointment. My adult issues of concern for unnecessary matters of thought and worry were the bigger issue than than the spill that unknowingly I projected in energy to my children at the table. I know the feeling all to well because my stressed out single mother who raised us often did the same. I never received the hug that was giving to my daughter in comfort , but later as an adult we talked about it in transparency with some incidents. I made the decision awhile back that my children will never carry the weight of my world on their shoulders. Children should never be forced to carry the load of our heavy burdens while still trying to discover the world themselves. I don’t hold guilt over my head from the incident, and I am grateful that it made me aware in be conscious of my actions in communicating with love at all times with my children. There will be more spills, mishaps, and mistakes as they grow older in discovering life’s journeys, but they will know that they have parent’s doing their best to guide them in clear guiding conscious. Small spills should not lead to bigger problems within a family.