Namine hurt our feelings. She didn’t intent to, but it’s my hope that she learns from this.
Since we’re going to be away from home on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, Jessica and I thought we would give Namine one present a night until the night before Christmas Eve, when we would all open up presents. We had gotten a whole pile of books for her a while back, and we thought they’d make great presents.
After Namine was done getting ready for bed this evening, I told her that there was something for her under the tree. She grabbed the present, reading out loud “To Namine, Merry Christmas, love Mom and Dad.” She excitedly tore into the wrapping paper, revealing a dinosaur book.
“Oh.” Pause. “I already have a really big dinosaur book.” It wasn’t intentionally hurtful, but it was hurtful all the same. At first Namine didn’t understand why we were hurt, but she understood once we explained that it sounded petty and ungrateful.
So we had a talk. We talked about how our words can hurt, even if we don’t intend for them to. We talked about considering our words first, something that I fail at more than I’d like to admit. We had hugs, we said our “love you”s.
Children are often tactless, and perfectly honest with no regard for feelings or subtext. Sometimes it’s funny, to which we might respond with “Kids say the darnedest things!” But sometimes that same blunt honesty cuts deep. Tonight was an important lesson for Namine, and I am reassured by her actions afterward that she has learned from it.