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June 25, 2024

Where Every Family Matters

Let Your Children ROAR!

It’s a memory that will never be forgotten. I also have it on videotape. The children and I were dancing around in the living room. My toddler was napping, but Alexandra (6) and Noah (4) and I  (29 and holding, a-hem) were rocking out to music. Alexandra wore a princess costume, Noah a dinosaur, complete with the styrofoam blocky head balanced on top of his.

Stung and Upset

We were all getting down; covering the hardwood floor with wicked moves. Noah, my sweet one with a rich inner life, was in the middle of a tyrannosaurus-sized fantasy when Alexandra crashed into him hard. Then she stuck her tongue out at him.
    “No, Alexandra! No!” he shouted, angry, wronged, his fantasy snapped. He had really been caught up, which for him, was a big deal. I watched his face and felt he deserved a little justice.
    “Roar, Noah!” I said. “Go ahead and roar!”
    That little guy let out the most vicious-sounding roar a little boy could possibly muster right in Alexandra’s face. She ran from the room, stung and upset.
    Then Noah began to cry. He didn’t like that he had hurt his big sister’s feelings, regardless of how much he needed to let out his own. I turned off the music and sat down on the floor.
    “Alexandra, honey,” I coaxed gently, chagrined. “It’s OK, it’s OK. Come back, honey.”
Noah stood there, my dashed dinosaur, shaken and waiting, his little bottom lip trembling. Alexandra slowly made her way back to where we were, her head down and her face wet with tears.

The Apology

    They were so close, these two. I caused hurt to them both.
    “I’m sorry,” I said. “I told Noey to roar. I’m sorry it scared you. It wasn’t very nice of Mommy.”
    “It’s OK,” she whispered.
    “I’m sorry, Noey,” I said.
    “It’s OK,” he said quietly.
    “Come on, group huggie,” I said, opening my arms. And we hugged and just rocked there for a little while. Soon they were playing and happy as usual.
I don’t like the fact that I added to my kids’ conflict that day, but Noah was vindicated by expressing himself. We ALL need to say the things we are thinking and feeling or we’ll become bottled up inside. I’ve tried to empower my kids to say what needs saying … and to try and do it gracefully.

    Wouldn’t it be amazing if the world could do the same?   

About the Author

Susan Swindell Day

Susan Day is the editor in chief for this award-winning publication and all-things Nashville Parent digital creative. She's also an Equity actress, screenwriter and a mom of four amazing kids.