When Kendi doesn’t like something, she looks away and pretends it’s not there. Wam, my cousin and I saw this when we went out to the mall one time, and there was a person dressed in a duck costume. Kendi took one look at that whole situation and then looked away. The duck came up to us (because that’s what people in costumes do- they come up and try to talk to children), and we thought it would be nice to take a picture of Kendi and the duck. She did not acknowledge it’s presence the entire time we tried to take the picture. It was hilarious.
Now, Tawi and Mich, my younger sisters are always saying, ‘we’re just going to pull a Kendi’, when they don’t want to deal with something. The idea is that if you don’t acknowledge something, it doesn’t exist. It usually works- no, not really, but it’s worth a try.
Mum was telling us in the weekend, that we need to ignore Kendi when she falls down (especially when we actually witness her falling down, and it appears to be more of a sudden sitting down than an actual falling down). Kendi ‘falls down’ on a daily basis, just as someone who hasn’t really gotten the hang of walking does. But she really hates it. Every time she ‘falls down’, she whines and cries and makes a big fuss. She expects someone to come get her up, kiss and love on her so that she can feel better. My cousin Jasper, noticed that she hates falling down and mentioned it to me. He said,’ when she trips or loses balance, she closes her eyes and winces, have you noticed?’ ‘Yes I suppose I have,’ I replied.
‘She will begin to think that it’s very bad to fall down and a matter of life and death’, mum continued. She can be a bit dramatic (OK, a lot dramatic), ‘But, when you don’t help her up, she will get self sufficient and realize that falling is a part of life and there’s no need to draw everyone’s attention to it every single time.’
So now, we have begun ‘pulling a Kendi’ on Kendi when she falls. We kind of just say,’ stand up and keep going’ and call it a day. It’s working- there’s a lot less whining over ‘falling down’ in the Kiarie household.
P.S: It’s surprising to me that this lesson wasn’t already in my head. I have been around many babies in my life, and each of their parents have encouraged me to ‘look away, just pretend you didn’t see that’ when they fall, bump their head, hit their finger with a hammer, etc. You see, children are tempted to feel sorry for themselves if there’s an adult witness to their plight. Otherwise, if they’re in the playground with only other children and just having fun, they wouldn’t even cry.