Have you ever had your child calling: “Mum, Mum, come and look at this.” You go and it’s a dead cricket. At that moment in time you have a choice to make…. To either engage in the moment with your child or to dismiss it/ them. You can either talk with them about what they’ve found, ask questions about what they think happened or what they think they should do with the cricket, thereby making it a time of learning, understanding and connection. Or, you can dismiss it with: “Its dead, leave it alone” or “Is that all, I was in the middle of doing dishes!”
One way helps the child feel connected with you, that you have time for them, and that what they have to say or show you is of value to you.
The other way – if said often enough- gives the message that you aren’t interested in what they like, and that dirty dishes are more important than them.