Elbow Flaps and Foot Jiggles
Isn’t it wonderful each of us can express ourselves as an individual in any circumstance! Learning to understand and respect expressions that are different than our own is an essential step in maturation and emotional intelligence. Most young children have a freedom that we as adults forget is a natural gift in life with pure, honest expression. They often use their whole bodies. As we grow up, many of us learn to use just words. Very young children in the toddler stage may not know or be able to pronounce the words. How do we let them know we understand what they are freely expressing without the verbage we relate to? Ahhhh, empathy can come in handy in so many situations.
Take for example my grandson before he turned two. He is the only person in the world who has ever screamed in delight, flapped his elbows as though he were a human hummingbird, and jumped while jiggling his feet simultaneously when he would see me come through the door into his house. He certainly scored tons of points in my heart!
Obviously, he was so excited to see me he could not contain the emotion and the energy and just let it rip roar right out of his body in every way possible. I had choices in letting him know I understood what he was saying. I could have said, “I’m excited to see you, too, Grayson!” Or I could have tossed out a multi-toned, enthusiastic question, “Are you excited to see Grandma Boom, Grayson?” However, being one who has kept the inner child very alive, I simply joined in and mirrored exactly what he was doing, screaming, flapping elbows, jumping up and down with jiggling feet while feeling the delicious delight of being together in his world. We were naturally high together! He ate it up. My response egged him on to extend the ecstasy. I found it to be great exercise after driving for 2 ½ hours. And I felt like I got to join the Superkid Power club as Grayson and I had an incredible, pure and enlivening connection!