How I Tell My Daughter She Matters Without Saying It

Toddlers can see through your fake smiles.

Photo by Isaac Quesada on Unsplash

I am now a parent, but I still get cranky (like a kid) if I don’t get what I want.

This happens whenever I’m torn between doing what I want and what my daughter wants. While I can justify I am doing the “mature” thing, she is still too young to understand any of it. She’s two — unable to communicate verbally, but, she understands body language.

This makes lying tricky because body language reveals what we really feel inside.

She can see through my fake smiles.

That fakery gets recorded (continuously) in her DVR brain. Too many of those fake smiles could lead her to think that my to-do list is more important than her. So how do I show I care without faking it?

I need to be willing to let go of my adult way of thinking and learn to think like a toddler.

This requires me to learn the ability to embrace her worldview in an instant — even for just a few minutes.

It doesn’t sound easy. But when you truly love someone, you need to be comfortable enough to drop your own biases and be willing to accept the other person’s worldview. What may look stupid on the surface may be very important to her.

This aligns with what I recently learned about communication:

“It’s not what you say, it’s what they hear”.