My daughters (5 & 3 years old) were fighting that evening. Apparently, the elder instructed the younger to do something but she didn't follow, and both ended up crying.
I was "stuck" demanding my child to be proper in an emotionally difficult time...
They both came to sit with me, still crying inconsolably. The elder one had some mucus dripping off from her nose because of the cry. She started shouting and crying to draw my attention "Mucus! Mucus!"
"Then please go and get a towel to wipe"
"I don't want"
"Then get tissue"
"NOOOOOO. I don't want"
"I want someone to go and get it for MEEEEE"
"I am sorry, but noone will help you if you speak like that."
"I WANTTTTTTTTT. I WANT YOU to get the tissue for meee."
"Sorry, I want to settle this (the fight between them) now, and I don't want to help you because you are not asking me nicely."
As I was still "stuck" here demanding my child to be proper in an emotionally difficult time, my younger daughter, still crying, stood up and started walking around the living room, then into the kitchen.
"Where are you going, A?"
"I am looking for tissue for kakak (sister)." - while still crying and feeling upset about the fight.
I was touched deeply hearing that. While going through her own emotional turmoil, she can still care about her sister's need and volunteer help so selflessly.
------ After getting the tissue, her mood was miraculously shifted from feeling upset, to being playful - zooming to where T was to pass her the tissue, even threw a joke with Daddy on the way.
I was shocked at the drastic change - must be the power of selfless giving I thought.
But life isn't always easy...
My elder one rejected her sister's help and threw away the tissue. It was fortunate I didn't blow up, but quickly picked up the tissue and asked A for the tissue instead. I used the tissue to wipe the elder's nose (modeling after A's kindness).
Finally, all calmed down and we could talk.
Lessons learned 1. Be the one who is kind, first. 2. If your kindness is rejected, there is always someone else who will appreciate it. 3. Catch the kindness ripple and pass it on.
4. Reminder to self: See through the tantrum.
Seek to address the emotional need first, and talk about the tantrum later.
I am indeed learning everyday from my children.
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