how to earn a child’s respect (spoilers)

…from Game of Thrones. (Although, if you haven’t seen the show by now, spoilers probably won’t matter)

I apologize- a bit, but only a bit– for my latest bit of obsession with this show, but I wanted to write something light and sweet. Too many hard subjects on my mind of late.

Do you know the scene where Jon Snow gives Arya her first sword? He tells her, “First lesson, stick them with the pointy end.” To which she replies, annoyed, “I KNOW what end to use!” Like, geez, brother, how dumb do you think I am? I’m eleven years old already!

But then, later, her dad knocks at her bedroom door, and even though she’s angry with him, she opens the door. She’s standing there, sword at the ready. Her dad gestures her to sit next to him. After ensuring she’s not practicing in order to stab her sister, he asks,”Do you know the first thing about sword fighting?” “Stick them with the pointy end!,” she responds instantly.

…because, yes, she’s a little girl.

And even though she’s angry and annoyed with everyone around her (what 11 yo isn’t?), she still listens. Her brother TOLD her the first lesson was “stick them with the pointy end,” and he must be right. Because he’s her brother. Most importantly, she trusts him.

And that’s the first sign you’ve earned a child’s respect. When they repeat something you’ve said. Sure they might brush you off. Snap at you. Ignore you (or act like they’re ignoring you).

But they’re not. They’re always listening. And, if they feel a connection to you, they’ll internalize your wisdom.

Take care what you say around children that care about you…

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