The kid: why should I say hello? The adults: because WE say so!!! And that, is the wrong way, to socialize your children! Translated…
During the New Year’s, a group of relatives gathered, in my memories, I’d always, become, fearful and nervous over this. As a young girl, I didn’t take to strangers, and hated the loudness, and, as the adults started showing me too much attention, it’d, made me feel, uncomfortable.
The elders who’d come to visit, they’re all, mostly, strangers to me, and whilst I was still, in a daze, my father would pull me over, and urged me, “say hi to your elders”. And yet, before I could react to the atmosphere that’s, gaining the momentum, couldn’t catch up to the paces of how my father and the adults were interacting, I’d gotten their words of displease.
I was too young to tell the adults, and can only, keep everything I feel inside, allowing it to accumulate, and, “greeting others”, “saying hi” became dreadful, instead of something I enjoyed doing, but “something I had to do!”
Time flew, I’d become, an “aunt”, and I’d found, that I was, really sensitive, like those adults were in my childhood, when the children didn’t greet me. I’d found, that accumulated over the years anger, displease, upset, with the endless questioning of why when the adults tell us to, we need to do it, and now, their grandkids didn’t have to greet me, and they’d not, gotten, scolded, and were, tolerated?
Time is a good medicine, made our life experience, into wisdom. I’d started to understand, that the older generations may carry with them that sense of lack of security, and needed to gain their sense of self-worth, sense of authority from without, and used “being greeted”, to satisfy their own needs of, being noted as someone worthy or important. In the past when I was too young to differentiate, I’d taken it as my responsibilities, the adults’ demands of me, and became, too tried, and filled with anger. And, as the adults felt upset because I didn’t greet them, it’s their emotions, while my choice related to, “What sort of a person do I choose to be”, finally, I’d, separated the responsibilities now, severed it off, I’d no longer, needed to, be responsible for the other individuals’ feelings, only responsible for my own behaviors, and feelings.
On that day, my younger cousin whom I don’t interact with regularly took his children, boys of age four and six to my house to visit, they’d, stared at me. My cousin didn’t tell them who I am, nor demanded that they greet me. I knew, that the kids weren’t familiar with me, that there’s no need to force them to connect. I’d, called out to them, introduced myself to them as their aunt, continued holding conversations with them, when they got sidetracked and not eaten their meals like they should, I’d, gotten their attention back, and learned that it was my four-year-old nephew’s birthday on the day.
I’d told him, “happy birthday, finish your lunch first, I’ll give you a pudding for your birthday!”, then the child let his guards down, finished up the meal, my six-year-old nephew searched for me, and called out to me, “Aunty, do you want to play the storytelling board games later with us?”, and, I’d spent an afternoon of time in board games with my younger cousin and his family. As the kids left, they’d not wanted to leave, and, eagerly made a date for our next, game date.
illustration from UDN.com
The kids are so straightforward, son naïve, and the adults needed to, let go of their hearts first, to learn to show cares and concerns toward the children first, to warm up with each other, and, as the emotions became, connected, the kids will trust you, and naturally, they would, interact with you more, and accept you, into their, worlds.
“Greeting”, is no longer something we must do on the holidays, with a little more thought, giving each other a little extra time, it can bring the joys of connections between people, and, what greater joys there are, than when a kid invites you to play the next time?
And so, this adult had, gained the awareness of what she’d hated of what her adult counterparts made her do, to greet everybody who came to the house, and, upon realizing, she’d, not demanded her own nephews to greet her, and this made them more comfortable, and they’d, connected to her more easily, and once the ice was broken, everything flowed, smoothly.
This still just showed, how you parents, should NOT MAKE us, your children greet those adults who are unknown to us, who are, YOUR friends or relatives!