I was reflecting on a lovely day in the sun with two darling little girls keen to show off their love of dance.
It was the first time I’d seen them in a long while and while they were keen to meet me as the source of birthday cards and gifts, they were a bit shy.
Now I’ve watched relatives and friends reach out eagerly to cuddle and hug a small child they are so excited to see and are so keen to show their love. But if they have not visited for a while or have not met the little child then the reaction they receive may be confusion and resistance – the little one doesn’t know this person so they hold back or push the stranger away.
I say a gentle hello “I’m Chris” and shake their hand if they’re willing. Then I move on to chat to their parents and allow them time to check me out from a distance.
It didn’t take long for them to work out I am not a threat, and am trusted by their parents. I saw them settle which was the perfect time to then break the ice with a little gift – a chocolate frog and some stickers – small enough to get their interest and start to chat .
I asked about their dancing but for other children I might ask about a game they are playing, an activity I know they enjoy such as cricket or footy or a book they are reading and let them come to me in their own time.
These little dancers started out shy, one hiding behind her mother, but a few minutes chat with their parents and a page of stickers won them over and I was then treated to a whole series of imaginative dances and songs!
Kids love to show off and before you know it, they are treating you like the family friend you are and chatting nineteen to the dozen!