“PLEASE GET YOUR SHOES ON! I’ve asked you five times, and if you don’t get them on RIGHT NOW, I’m leaving you home alone by yourself!”
It seems like those words come out of my mouth once, maybe twice a week while we go through the morning routine. Throw in a damn here and there, and it might be more accurate. At some point in their parenting career, every parent will experience these feelings.
Before you start to call the authorities, no I would never leave my son home alone. It’s one of those empty promises that we tell our children so that they do what we are asking of them.
And if you don’t, please tell me (better yet say all of us) how you prevent the situations like above from happening.
It doesn’t stop at shoes either. It can be either listening to what I’m asking my son to do, or not do. At times, I wonder if we need to have my oldest son’s hearing checked but then I remember that he is the child who can hear a bag of chips being opened from down the block when he is playing with his friends.
As quickly as the frustration inside of me comes, it leaves, and there is a feeling of sorrow inside of me that hits. I start to wonder how I could yell at my son in the way that I did. Did he understand why? Does he know that if he had just done things right the first time, he wouldn’t have to be doing it again? Does he understand how much it pains me that I sound like my parents?
I ask myself those questions because I more often than not, I am the one who is having difficulty remember that he is only 7-years-old. He is just a kid and that it is up to me to teach him that getting angry and yelling does not get you anywhere in life.
Moments where I’m cleaning out our 3-month-old, new to us car when I come across blue slime that had somehow escaped the plastic bag that Joseph brought it home from daycare in and was stuck to the floorboard. Those are the moments where it is easy to be frustrated with my son. Even though it might not be his fault when I should have been the one who picked up the slime out of the car.
It wasn’t his fault, even though more than likely, William was the one who stepped on the bag causing it to ooze out onto the floorboard unbeknownst to me, let alone him. There was no reason for me to be upset with him. The slime, despite being stuck to the floorboard wasn’t hurting anyone and eventually could be cleaned up.
It wasn’t, but a few minutes after gathering myself, I sat down to him and said, “William, I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have reacted that way. I know it wasn’t your fault and I was just frustrated that we just bought this car and now there is this blue slime on the floor. I’m sorry.”
Even though he told me that it was OK, I knew that I hurt him. But I knew that my ability to say I’m sorry was just what he needed to hear so that he pushes past everything. Part of it is my conscience. I know that I was in the wrong, even though it took me a bit to realize it.
I come by saying that I am not a perfect parent honestly. Being able to say that I’m sorry to my family for the numerous times that I screw up is one area of my life that I feel like I am getting right. When I tell William that I am sorry for getting frustrated with me, he starts to understand that not only do I feel bad about what I have done or said but that I am not going to get it right, but I am going to try and the mistakes that I do make, I am going to be sure to say I’m sorry to my son.