Thursday, September 17, 2009

My way

This week has been a dilly! Multiple ups and downs all around. Anyway, we've been struggling particularly with Holdy-boy this week. He's super sweet and so smart its actually scary but, he loses focus so easily I find myself having very un-Mommy-like meltdowns.
I think we both had a break-through this week after a lot of tears and strife. The climax came Tuesday after several school days of leaving/forgetting books, papers, and assignments at school I had had enough and snapped (it was not pretty). My snapping caused him to immediately tune me out (of course, wouldn't you?).
However, one comment brought all my self-righteousness crashing down and humbled me. We were reviewing his vocabulary words and got to "independent". The definition that he is to learn is something like "doing things by yourself, without help from others means you are independent." I, thinking that I was really going to teach this little punk a lesson, said "What does independent mean?"
Holdyn: "um, well, it means, uuuuhhh..."
Me mad: "Oh come on, listen, Daddy and I are trying to teach you to be independent; that means we are trying to teach you to do things, what?"
Holdyn: "Your way."
Me: no response, I felt like someone just got in a good gut punch.

Ephiphany - I should be letting him find his own way to do homework, study, and learn. My way isn't the only way. I can share my ideas with him and give him permission to find out for himself. If I want him to be independent, truly independent then he needs to fail, have hard times, and learn to think through his problems not just immediately employ my solution.

Needless to say, we had a good, long, rational talk. No yelling, screaming, and dictating. I listened to him. I'm embarassed to say that may have been the first time I actually listened to what my son had to say - what he thought and felt. While I'm not anticipating perfection from either of us in the future. But, at least on Tuesday we made progress and both matured a little.


Living on the Spit said...

That even gives me a lot to think've got a very wise little man right there!!

The things our children teach us.

Mama Hen said...

It is hard and exciting to see them grow up into little people, isn't it?

Ben & Diane said...

Man, that's sooo hard. I do believe when they are little we do, as parents, know what's best for them. But, what's that magical age where they need to literally "do it thenselves"? I think you did the right thing. Even if it means he has to fail. Maybe a little, maybe a lot. Most parents never learn that lesson and they wind up rearing lazy, dependent kids. I think I need to start this with Mia already.