We expect children to do so much sometimes I stop and think that there is something wrong with us, adults. We forget that once we were children and as sure as I am, it was difficult for us to control our emotions at times. To tell you the truth, I sometimes did not know what I was feeling. Anger, sadness, outrage, frustration… no idea which one it was I felt. It felt like all was happening at the same time.
Now I watch and listen to interactions no matter where I am. Just his morning I witessed a sad argument between a mother and her daughter who apperared to be in her early teens. Mother was holding a baby in the cash register line and she was going off on the girl: See, now we are not going to eat lunch, it is all your fault. If you did not talk too much I would not get angry. I never understand why you dont listen.” She went on and on. Meanwhile, I was waiting for the cashier to complete my order. The teen girl said “I just dont like the way you speak to me, that is all”. She said it in a very sad way. No attitude, no tone. Her eyes were red as if she was trying to hold her tears back and just staring at her mom as her mom was talking up a storm. I almost said something but I decided not to interfere. They had a couple of other family members with them. They were all quiet. My heart started beating fast, I was getting really frustrated because I thought it was such an unfortunate situation for the little girl. Especially when she was articulating her mom that she did not like the way she was being talked to.
Then, I turned away and looked at my son. I felt happy because I knew my son was lucky to have parents like my husband and I. We listen to him especially when he is upset or he seems frustrated. There is no need to cause him bottle up his feelings and or feel fearful around us. With us, he is in a safe zone. We are a family. We make mistakes, we argue sometimes but in the end we come to an understanding that what ever the situation is we can get to the bottom of it and resolve it. There is no shaming, there is no belittling. Instrad of stopping him we allow him to get his frustration out. We encourage him to talk through things. We encourage him to be honest no matter what. In the end, if need be, he apologizes, he expresses himself, he tries to figure things out. He knows he can trust us and we are by him no matter what. In the meantime he knows we have high expectations for him and that he must be forthcoming even if he is at fault.
It is not always easy to do these things. We all can make mistakes or can miss a step or two. In the end we own it and do what is necessary to correct the action.