Recently I had my tooth extracted. I will spare you the details but afterwards I wasn’t allowed to talk for a while. Trying to wrangle a toddler without talking is definitely challenging!
My daughter and I were walking outside and she stole a neighbors newspaper and started running. After getting over my shock at the little thief, I walked after her mumbling her name the best I could. She laughed and kept on running.
I decided to let her run for a while and the got in front of her. I mimed the best I could that I wanted her to put the newspaper back. After some back and forth running, she handed me the newspaper and let me place it back where she found it. She giggled as I clapped for her repenting of her thieving ways.
But it made me think. How often do we jump in as parents and leaders to tell people what to do as a teaching moment. Sometimes it is better to show and point and in some cases, grunt, the way you want them to do things. This allows them to make the decisions on their own and come to the right conclusion without is shouting it in their ear.
Sometimes as I learned it can be best to shut up and listen.