No, don´t pinch so hard!


And the little child pinched a little bit more …

I was standing on the platform at Central Station and there where three kids who jump around and played together. I saw them first when their mothers tried to calm them down.
Two mothers and three children.
One of the children climbed on a pillar with a wide steel band that went around. Perfect to climb on if you are around 4-5 years, I was a bit jealous for a while. Not that the child was 4-5 years and climbed, but because he  just climbed and had fun.
He was the calmest of them all.

It was the girls’ play the mothers tried to calm down and it was only when the slightly younger pinched the elderly on the cheek.
I stood at a distance and when I turned around I tried to figure out what game they played.
I could see that it was the elderly who decided how things should be played.
One was around four and the other around three, very lively.
I enjoyed seeing how they played.

The game was a kind of catch and put in prison, for the elderly had her hands ”tied” and was equipped with a ”gag”.
This, I think is so cool, that children really puts themselves in the game. It was almost impossible for the elderly to get out, before the young had loosened the rope. And she did just so by ”waving your hands around the tied hands” and then she was free againg.
It is the right attitude.
The problem arose when the gag was removed. The 4-year-old was still tied with her hands behind her back and could not remove the gag, so 3-year-old had to do it. She was extreme careful at first, then she pinched the cheeks of the 4-year-old. Since the 4-year-old was still tied behind her back, she could ”do nothing”, but stood still and was pinched.

The first time went well, the second time three-year-old pinched a little harder.

Then came the scream. And the mother reacted to the game. From where I stood, I could see that this would happen between the two little girls.
One of the mothers said, ”Don´t pinch so hard!”.

Well said, or?

Well, there are better ways.
Our brain thinks in pictures, and now the mother created a series of pictures that looks different in a young child. Namely, this ”Murmur pinch so hard!”.
That is, our brain has a difficulty to create an image of the word ”don´t”.
Unfortunately the 3-year-old did as her mother said, and went straight back to the 4-year-old and pinched again.

The mother repeated herself.
But by then the 4-year-old started loudly protesting, so it became clear to the 3-year-old no more pinch … for a while.

In an unguarded moment, the 3-year-old went  back to her ”prisoner” and pinched again.
I thought about going to talk to the mothers about my observation.
My train arrived and they were to travel withanother, so I missed my chance.

Hope I get another chance another day. Because it is simple.
The mother could have said ”Stop pinching!” or ”You can caress the cheek gently!”.
There are some variations, the key is to understand how and when we use the word DON`T.

Have a wonderful day and hope it doesn´t rain.

/ Patric


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