A few weeks weeks ago my y 5 1/2 year old daughter decided it was time for us to have a serious discussion. One night after her bath while on autopilot of the evening ritual she engaged me with her authentic expression.
“Mom, we need to talk!”
“OK, honey, what’s up.”
“Mom, I have been lying to you for days.”
“OK, ahhh, what about?” (hahahah, omg…what had she done?)
“I like Daddy more than you.”
Whew, relief .. “OK, is there a reason why, is there something that I have done or is there something you need from me?”
“No, Mom, these things just happen sometimes. I love you, but, right now I like Daddy more. I used to like you more, now it is Daddy’s turn.”
I felt such pride in this moment, not sadness or fear. My daughter just chose to communicate with me in pure honesty. My biggest desire is that she always comes to me in this way and that I have the courage to listen. To be completely truthful myself, I was so stuck on “I’ve been lying to you for days?”, choking back laughter at her mature approach that the only emotion I could feel was “joy”.
So… what’s the opportunity for you..
How can you create space for open communication with those you love in spite of the emotion that may accompany a discussion?
How would it feel to listen without a need to respond, give an opinion, or inject yourself into another person’s story?