Parenting is a wonderful opportunity to test out many of our theories about human behaviour. One of my favourite ones is about trust. ‘The more you trust someone, the more trust-worthy they are likely to be.’
Right from the day Isha was born, I had to constantly remind myself that I had to first earn her trust. I’d inform her every time I’d leave her and give her my reassurance that I’d be back, and never slipped out when she was not watching (which I’ve been suggested to do many times!). I’d give her as honest information as possible about what was going to be done to her, like piercing her ears, for instance, always giving her reassurance. I’ve refrained (with conscious awareness) from giving her messages that might erode her self-confidence, messages of distrust like ‘You are going to break it, you’re going to fall, etc.’
These days, when Isha wants to drink water out of her ‘elephant’ ceramic cup, she does it all by herself taking great care and placing it back gently, saying to herself "gentle, gentle'. During our bus ride today, she wanted to keep the bus ticket. All I told her was to ‘keep it carefully because it was an important piece of paper’. She looked at it for a long time and held it tightly, as she gazed out of the window. About twenty minutes into the ride, she said “Amma, inthaa (here)” and handed it over to me carefully. She is mostly careful with everything. When she does slip once in a while, she tells herself “Isha, paathu paathu” (Isha, careful careful).
So friends, it does work! If it works with Isha, it has to work with all of life!!