Sweetest Moment of the Day


It seems most afternoons between 4pm-5pm there is a meltdown around here. Those with young kids are, I am sure, very familiar with this end-of-the-day falling apart period of time. Kids are tired, hungry and are done with sharing, cooperating and getting along!

This afternoon’s meltdown was a result of Gabriela (4 years) “borrowing” and wearing Juanita’s shoes (Juanita is on the edge of turning 6). I didn’t witness it, but I believe Gabriela got whacked as a result of her thievery. She came into the house weeping. Juanita remained outside wailing.

I happened to be in the house when all this unfolded. The mamas were un-phased by the drama and continued with their felting that we had been working on. I decided to take this conflict on.

One of the biggest challenges our mamas are having right now is parenting. Overwhelmed, outnumbered and with very few parenting skills, they are really struggling. We are working closely with them to help them develop new tools as loving and firm parents (with absolutely no hitting). Modelling parenting skills seems to be one of the methods that really assists them.

So… I modelled a playful and firm way of dealing with Gabriela. I brought her on to my lap and removed the shoes. I gave them to Juanita who immediately stopped crying when she had her shoes back on her feet. Gabriela continued to cry and I suggested that I help her find her shoes. More tears and no understandable replies.

The peace-building two year old!

The peace-building two year old!

Meanwhile, Alejandra (2) toddled out of the house. A moment later she was back with Gabriela’s shoes! With the sweetest look on her face, she handed the shoes to Gabriela! And I was ready with camera to catch, for me, was the sweetest moment of my day!

What was the sweetest moment of your day today?

-Heather Alicia


6 Responses

  1. Mary Lue says:

    I remember those melt down hours well. You’re right, they are tired and hungry. The beautiful thing is the girls really do love each other. Teaching them how to resolve conflicts and maintain their loving relationships is key for all the children and the mothers. Beautiful moment Alicia.

    • Thanks Mary Lue. Yes. It was a sweet, sweet moment. I love watching these kids together. Overall, I find the Guatemalan children so loving and caring to their siblings. They really rely on each other. Although it seems Alejandra is slow to talk she is definitely communicating up a storm these days! Everyone misses you and Aysha. Thanks so much for coming and putting so much love and attention into your work here! We love you!

  2. Gin says:

    When we model kind cooperation, kids are happy to follow along. When parents yell, hit and punish, kids get confused and hurt. They don’t understand why the people they love the most are hurting them. It’s wonderful to see how a compassionate loving reaction helped the kids to see just what was expected. The photo melted my heart!
    With love,
    Tia Gin

    • I was so thrilled to capture that moment on camera and to be able to share it. Such a sweet person she is. I am so excited and honoured to be a part of her life and to be witnessing her becoming her own person. She is a treasure. As are all of them! xoxo

  3. Melissa Hodges says:

    Very Sweet.
    If you’re looking for inspiration for gentle parenting strategies I’d really suggest Dr Laura Markam’s Aha! Parenting Blog and Facebook page. http://www.ahaparenting.com/ https://www.facebook.com/AhaParenting

    Very in line with Dr Gordon Nuefleds work too. http://neufeldinstitute.com/ His talk series havn’t been translated into Spanish but his book “hold on to your kids” has.

  4. Hi Melissa!

    Those are two resources we respect and rely on in a big way. I had the opportunity to study with Dr. Neufeld years ago when my daughter was young and we often had him speak at the homeschooling conferences we organized. I keep his book close at all times. I recently discovered Dr. Markham and have been enjoying her work. Also helpful is Barbara Coloroso’s work.

    The challenge we face is that we can’t just give books to the mamas as their literacy is very low. We are working at ways to model and share in teachable moments whenever possible.

    Parenting classes are practically non-existent and our mamas are really seeing how they could help them!

    Heather Alicia

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