A Parenting Perspective Shift

After asking my son to stop playing Fortnite and get ready for bed for the 4th time, I got angry and yelled “let’s go, you are starting to push my buttons!” As the words were flowing out of my mouth, I had this weird sensation (if I were in a movie, the scene would have become slow motion as I leaned forward grasping, flailing my hands, trying to grab the words before they reached my sons ears.) Why?

Because in that moment as I said it, two things hit me. One, my son doesn’t have the power to make me angry for not listening. Only my thinking about his not listening can make me angry. Two, there are no buttons.

Gosh, I have said that phrase so many times as I raised my kids and now I see how silly it is. Where are these buttons that we claim our kids have perfect access to? What if the buttons are just thought creations that don’t exist but for in my mind? How many other dumb things do I say (a more accurate question would be how many other untrue things do I say, but dumb is what it feels like). I catch myself saying, “You are making me so angry” and “You’re killing me here.”

Wow, am I playing the martyr or victim? Hum? The craziest part is that it’s not true. Not only that, but I perpetuate that misunderstanding for my child when I let him believe that he has the power to put a feeling inside of me. That’s a lot of power for a little guy. 

I have been doing him a disservice all this time, albeit innocently. Well the good news is we are all able to learn something new and then straighten out any confusion. It’s a great teaching moment to show him that mommy gets lost in misunderstanding like all human beings, but feelings don’t come from other people, even though it seems that way sometimes.

Especially now, right before Yom Kippur, I can role model doing teshuva by apologizing and cleaning up my mistakes. No need to add judgment and negativity to the mix. I am always pleasantly surprised by how understanding, resilient and forgiving my kids are when I own my stuff.  May we all be blessed with understanding, resilience and forgiveness this year.

One thought on “A Parenting Perspective Shift”

  1. Batsheva Katina says:

    Beautiful. I appreciate the insight.

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