Mother And Daughter - Something That Happened Earlier Today
"Mommy I'm not lying!"
This was the line that peaked my interest earlier today. I cracked my bedroom window and listened as a mother spoke to her daughter.
"Mommy I'm not lying, she gave it to me!" Said the daughter.
"Yesterday you told me that it was hers."
"Mommy I'm not lying, Clara really gave it to me."
"I don't know who gave it to you."
"Mommy I'm not joking, she gave it to me!"
I'm not quite sure what happened after this - the voices got quieter, but the conversation seemed to end quickly. The father was gardening nearby, and didn't take part in the conversation at all. The little girl told her mom that Clara gave her the whatever-it-was, and the mommy very clearly gave her the message "I don't trust you." (she didn't literally say this - but on a psychological level that was the message the little girl got)
Maybe the mommy had good reason to think that her daughter stole the whatever-it-was. Maybe her daughter has stolen things before - I don't know. What I do know is that, for the length of that conversation, that little girl felt that she was an untrustworthy person (no child that young can ever blame mommy any more than they could understand a metaphor - their brains simply aren't developed enough. Mom is god. "If mommy doesn't trust me, then I am untrustworthy"). I hope for her sake that she really is an untrustworthy girl, because if she's a trustworthy person, then her mommy just damaged her ability to trust herself (and by extension everyone else) for no reason.
Of course, the damage from a single conversation like this is almost nonexistent. It takes years of casual mistrust to do any real damage to a child - but I very much doubt that her mother is going to change her parenting techniques. Heh - her mom doesn't even realize it, it's not like she should - she's just mindlessly parenting the same way her parents did. All parents unknowingly damage their children - and although I understand that most parents are loving despite their flaws, and do a pretty good job, I REALLY think that every parent should take psych 101.