Today a father and his little son were walking along a quiet street approaching a corner.  The little boy, about three years old, made a dash away from his father towards the corner of the street.  We were driving towards the same corner.  My husband had already anticipated the possibilities and slowed down, well below the speed limit.

I saw the father of the little boy suddenly react. He ran a few steps and grabbed his son by the arm, just at the edge of the path.  He aggressively jerked his son’s little arm a number of times, loudly chastising him as we drove past.  I thought about how many times I had near misses when my children were young and I could hear my heart beating loudly in my ears.

This child had done something wrong, but he is a child and still learning.  The mistake he made could have meant he was seriously injured or even worse, had he actually dashed off the street and onto the road in front of our car.

I thought about who needs to be corrected here.  Nobody trains us to be parents.  After fourteen years in school we leave without any training or qualification in childcare.  But when a parent walks along a quiet street with a three year old child, and pays more attention to their phone screen than to their child, then it’s not the child that needs to be corrected!

So, if you have a near one with your child, think about who needs to learn from the experience and if you’re ready to jump in and chastise your child, think about what message you are giving them…

Instead, I encourage you to calm yourself. Kneel down to their height, hug them to you, tell them you love them.  Then look them in the eye and tell them about the fright you got, talk about the rules of the road and about the danger of dashing off the path onto the road and then sit back and think…

Thank your lucky stars that you are still a parent…

and that you still have time to enhance your parenting skills…

because no matter how much attention you give your phone screen…

Google, Ecosia or any other search will not take away the heartbreak or show you how to bring your little son back to life.

Le grà,

Mindfully Marie xx