Seeing the clumps of hair, I knew they were Sanju’s. I realised that she wanted that cut so badly that she snipped her hair off herself as she thought I would not allow it. Hmm, my daughter is exhibiting her growing individuality.
“Sanju! Can you come here?”, I call out to her.
“You wish to have flicks? You were scared to tell me? ” I ask gently. (understand and empathise)
She hesitates and then answers, ”Yes, I was scared. I wanted it so badly, I asked you that day, but you said it is not a good idea”.(allow feelings to be expressed)
“You thought I would not allow you to?”, I enquire.
“Hmm, you said that my long hair will get spoilt.”, she responds.
“We could have discussed it together, rather than I saying No immediately?”, I say ruefully.
“I was trying to tell you, but …”, she says.
“But I did not listen to you. I am so sorry Sanju.”,I apologise.
“Ma, by cutting my own hair, I have really spoilt it. I am sorry.”, she says sadly. (taking responsibility)
“Hmm, we could go to the salon and ask the stylist what you want and she can recommend something?”, I suggest.
“Oh, Yes, thank you”, she says in delight.
“Ok. You know Sanju, I love your long hair the way it is, It would be sad to cut it.”, I ponder.
“I like my long hair but it is so boring. I wanted something different.”, Sanju says emphatically. (communicating and respecting differing views)
“Hmm, you are growing up fast!!” I look at her with pure joy and stayed with that feeling for the rest of the day!
Children do learn
Confronting and forcing children to speak the truth will only get them to become defensive and cover-up the issue. Listening without assumption and judgment with the intention to understand and connect will get them to open up and share their feelings. When we parents create an environment that is conducive for a two-way communication, children will have the courage to speak the truth and take responsibility for their actions. They will learn honesty.