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You’re pushing my buttons

An event on the elevator

The other day I was in the elevator and a family came in.

It was a mom and two kids.
The girl was probably 7
and the boy around 4.

Right away the young boy started
pressing all the buttons in the elevator.
You could see the delight in his eyes
at the shiny buttons lighting up when he touched them.

Stop being a 4 year old this instant

His mom smacked his hand and
told him to stop doing that.
He pretty much ignored her and
kept trying to push the buttons.

The girl was clearly afraid.
She was trying to stop him before
her mom got even angrier.

The whole situation was quite tense and intense

The mother looked apologetically at me
because her son had just added
five or six extra floors for us to stop on
as we were heading up.

When she made eye contact with me I saw my opportunity and I jumped in saying:

“All kids push buttons.
That’s what kids are supposed to do.
They’re so shiny and fun.
It’s how they learn and explore
the world around them.

As adults we often forget
what it was like to be a kid.
If we can remember it’s
easier for us to relate to them.”

Then I looked at the boy and said
I love pushing buttons too.
I didn’t say too much to him.
Just enough to make him feel that
I was accepting and enjoying him.

Jumping into the unknown

Whenever I take the chance to stick my nose
into someone else’s business like that
I never quite know how it’s going to turn out.

I have to just go with my gut
and trust that I’m doing the right thing.

Remembering what it was like to be a kid

In this case it worked out well.
I could see that I struck a nerve with the mom.
She seemed to let my words touch her deeply.
She took a deep breath and let her shoulders relax.

I think she suddenly remembered
herself as a young person.

Then she smiled and said
“Yes you’re right.
I see what you mean.”

After that we just rode the elevator in silence.
I smiled at the kids and they seemed
a little bit in shock themselves at what had just occurred.

They got out of the elevator on their floor and
they all waved and said goodbye.

This was a beautiful moment for all of us

The kids felt validated.
The mom seem to have an epiphany.
I felt honored to have had the opportunity
to make a small difference.

Tuning in to our kids perspective

One thing that stood out to me was
when the mom took a moment to tune into
the vibrations of her kids
she was able to clearly see things
from a different perspective.

So many of us as adults have
forgotten what it’s like
to be 3
to be 10
to be 16.

Yet those memories are inside of us and
if we take the time and effort to access them
it can make relating to our kids much easier.

Relating to them on their level helps build trust

When we show them we can relate to them
and they feel heard and understood
they are much more likely to open up to us.
They are much more likely to be
receptive to our suggestions.
They are also more likely to see us as inspiration
rather than an adversary.

The traditional adversarial parent and child relationship is not inevitable

It is possible to have a relationship
built on mutual respect and love.

It is primarily the responsibility of the parent
to create and foster this relationship
from the very beginning.

Seeing the world through the eyes of your child
and relating to them on their level,
like this womyn did in that moment on the elevator,
can make all the difference.

Kids are nuts!

This is certainly not always easy to do
because a lot of the time the way kids behave
seems insane to adults.

If we can get beyond that and accept that
the reality of a three year old is equally valid
as the reality of a 33 year old
then we are truly on our way to creating
more harmony in our families.

You’re Pushing my Buttons

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