My kids have been watching the classic Snow White. My four year old, Esther, is very affected by the ugly old woman the beautiful queen turns into. I explain to her that the queen may be beautiful on the outside but because she is mean to others her heart is ugly and I point to the ugly woman.
Last night as I was preparing dinner I heard a ruckus coming from the kids and I went to investigate. Two of them had been playing and decided it would be fun to lock the other out, intentionally excluding him. Typically these three are like the Three Musketeers doing everything together, but lately I have noticed two of them excluding the one simply for the purpose of exclusion. My heart broke watching him pound on the door trying to be a part of the fun. It’s a strange feeling to observe my kids and at the same moment be propelled back in time to relive my own pain of being excluded as a kid. I decided then that I would intentionally do all I could to raise my family up in a home where everyone is loved, accepted and welcome to play. A family that supports and promotes one another.
Where to begin though? It’s a difficult goal to put into action. I went back to the basics. After speaking with them both, I discerned the perpetrator from the follower and called Esther aside asking her to go get me the Snow White movie case.
I told her when we do not let someone play with us we hurt their feelings because everyone wants to be included. That when she would not let Gabe in, she was being mean and hurtful. I pointed to the queen and explained that Esther is my beautiful little girl, but that true beauty comes from our heart and how well we love others. I asked her what she wanted her heart to look like: Snow White or the ugly old woman? She pointed to Snow White and I told her that she needs to love others and always welcome other kids to play with her. I explained that we are a family and that no matter what happens we love one another, accept each other and play together.
Wounds of exclusion go deep and as a Mom I want to have a vision in mind when I respond to this with intentionality.