Sometimes The Voice Misses The Point

Sometimes The Voice Misses The Point

I was using my most enthusiastic voice with my daughter Michelle, telling her that when she was three she would be big like mama and no longer need to use a bottle. It was three weeks until her birthday and weaning her from her bottle was top on my list of things to do. My strategy was to tell her every day until her birthday and then have a bottle throw away ceremony.

This was a big exciting major event, and my voice coaching experience came in handy as Michelle was being sold on the idea that soon she could drink out of a glass. Well, maybe I got carried away as the day got closer, and told her two or three times a day. Ok, maybe four or five times, but I was convinced that this was going to do the trick.

Early in the morning of November 1, Michelle’s third birthday, I was awakened by her crying. There she was standing in the bathroom looking into the large mirror and sobbing, “I’m not big like you!”

My heart sank as she looked bewildered and maybe felt betrayed (don’t mom’s know everything?) Here was a situation and I couldn’t fix it.

The lesson I learned here is often we do so much talking and strategizing that we forget to take the other person’s perspective into consideration. We all listen from a different frame of reference due to our experiences, beliefs, and assumptions. The key here is that we usually only speak from our frame of reference with the assumption that others are on the same playing field. Most are not, and getting clarification by asking questions and listening ourselves for clues is important.

How would I have done this differently? Clarify what big like mom means. Maybe be more specific, I’d have to give that more thought.

The good news is that we both lived through it, no damage done and she no longer uses a bottle.

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