Have there been times of wordless understanding between you and your child? I think it happens for a lot of us pretty naturally when they are pre-verbal, but once they learn to talk, the emphasis becomes on the parent explaining everything and the child responding in a way that shows they have listened and will comply.
There is a great blog post called walking with at hakea- reflections on living and working with kids that deals with this idea of connection through silent presence.
With wisdom and insight, she recounts an interesting story of an American family visiting an African village and their young son making a huge mistake.
Instead of anger, punishment or lecturing, the chief handled it by taking the boy for a walk.
The family asked the chief if that’s how he sorts out problems in the village, and he replied that he takes people for a walk in the desert, saying something like “we go out and come back”.
Definitely a thought-provoking read.
Do we make enough wordless contact with our children?
Do we trust our connection with them enough to simply be there with them while they process feelings or events internally, without us interrupting?
Is there a point where we have “explained” enough, and we allow the world to speak for itself to the child?
What power does our simple, silent presence have? A hand-holding, a hug, a smile, a connection of gazes?
Can you recall a time that you and your child, or you and your parent, experienced a wordless understanding develop between you, where a difficult situation was transformed simply by the other’s silent presence?