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Mindless Comments Kill the Child’s Spirit of Mastery

I know she didn’t do it on purpose.  I know she meant no harm.  And, this just goes to show how mindless we adults can be…how quickly and easily we can kill the child’s spirit of mastery.

We stopped in the hair salon yesterday after school to get kids’ cuts.  They were having a Easter Bunny coloring contest.  Each of my 3 children took a coloring sheet and submitted a masterpiece.  Each was colorful and unique, and demonstrated care and pride in his and her work.

The children wrote their names and phone number on the back so they could be notified, should they win.

My five year-old slowly said out loud my phone number and effortfully wrote each number.

The lady at the counter took his work, studied it momentarily, and said, “I’ll write your phone number above just in case they can’t read it.”

A pain stabbed at my heart as I observed my son watch her read and re-write his number.  I thought to myself:  1.  The phone number doesn’t matter.  2.  There is only one age group so the chance of his work being selected (even though he wrote “pls pk me”) is slim.  3.  Would someone actually dial E9E instead of 393?

I share this story as a reminder to slow down and to be aware of the significance of any given moment.  Only when we are present in the moment can we discern what matters from what doesn’t matter.

It is easy to see mindlessness in others, but the real challenge is to see it in ourselves and be more mindful.

Peace to you on this beautiful day.

 

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