An excerpt from: Shefali Tsabary PhD. “The Conscious Parent”
One morning, my daughter shook me from sleep with great excitement. “The fairy has left you an amazing present,” she whispered. “See what the tooth fairy left you!”
I reached under the pillow and found a one dollar note, torn down the middle in exactly half. Said my daughter, “The fairy left half a dollar for you, and the other half is under daddy’s pillow.”
I was speechless.
Simultaneously I found myself in a dilemma. All of those messages about “money doesn’t grow on trees” and how important it was for my daughter to learn the value of currency came flooding into my mind. Should I use this opportunity to teach her about not wasting money, explaining to her that a dollar note torn in half is worthless?
I realized that this was a moment in which how I responded could make or break my child’s spirit. Thankfully I chose to shelve the lesson and tell her how proud I was of her willingness to be so generous with her one and only dollar. As I thanked the fairy for her big heartedness and her acute sense of fairness in giving both daddy and myself an equal share, my daughter’s eyes responded with a sparkle bright enough to illumine the bedroom.
YOU ARE RAISING A SPIRIT THROBBING WITH ITS OWN SIGNATURE
Parenthood affords many occasions in which we find ourselves in a battle between our mind and our heart, which makes raising a child akin to walking a tightrope. A single misplaced response can shrivel a child’s spirit, whereas the right comment can encourage them to soar. In each moment, we can choose to make or break, foster or cause to freeze up. When our children are just being themselves, they are unconcerned about the things we parents so often obsess over. How things look to other people, achievement, getting ahead—none of these issues that preoccupy adults are a child’s agenda. Instead of engaging the world in an anxious mental state, children tend to plunge head first into the experience of life, willing to risk all.
The morning the fairy visited my bedroom, my daughter wasn’t thinking about either the value of money or the egoic issue of whether I would be impressed she had shared her dollar. Neither was she worried she might be waking me too early. She was simply being her wonderfully creative self, joyously expressing her generosity and delighting in her parents’ discovery that the fairy had visited us for a change.