Trusting Connection

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?


7 responses to “Trusting Connection

  1. Hi Elena

    Looking at your last photo there, children possibly get more of that silence, connection, and understanding from grandparents. Good one.

  2. It is a great story – I love Boring Cuddles for a similar kind of connection. We also have a few of our own sign-language phrases, like I love you and I’m watching you, which we use across a crowded room sometimes. Silence in parenting is really powerful. Great to see this story doing the rounds!

    • I need to remember the silent power more, I think that’s what inspired me to share it. I love words, I love to work with them, play tug of war with them, eat them up. But I need to pay more attention to when wordless is the way to go.

  3. The picture of Liv reminds me of the Mona Lisa. Her silent subtle smile speaks throughout the ages and connects all. 🙂

  4. That was me in the last comment (not good at computers)

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