We expect children to be able to manage their emotions and express themselves honorably. We forget that the way they experience things is sometimes hard to put into words especially if those words are foreign to begin with.
Often times I have a hard time expressing my own emotions because I feel them so deeply. I have gotten much better at it though as I have had a lot of experience identifying and dealing with them. But I wasn’t always able to and not so long ago either. How can you expect a two year old to be able to talk calmly when they are overriden with frustration?
I try and instill coping skills into my son at an early age, but it isn’t always an easy task. I would be remiss to say that teaching Jack was an easy task especially when it comes to emotions. I have spent a lifetime struggling with them, as I’m sure many of you have. To actively teach a toddler things that you are still learning is sometimes a draining battle but definitely worth it nonetheless.
Today we had a blast in the pool, after we got changed and came back downstairs all he wanted to do was go back in. Unfortunately I had my mind made up that he wasn’t to get back into that pool, I tried explaining to him that but he’s two and very determined. He asked to take off his shirt, I obliged. He asked to take off his pants, again I obliged. He started to take of his diaper- I drew the line in the sand. Was he happy? Absolutely not. Was I? Not a chance. Was dad? Losing his patience. Jack became so distressed he took my iPad and threw it. Justin lost his patience, followed by me losing mine. Jack was inconsolable. I took jack upstairs, frustrated because all I wanted to do was relax on the swing to enjoy the beautiful weather and now we have to go inside because it wasn’t acceptable behavior. I took a minute and looked at my son, my baby, who was staring at me crying, calling momma. My heart sank. My poor son. Engulfed in so much hurt and I was too upset to be aware of what he may be experiencing. I picked him up and held him, we sat on the couch for a few minutes just snuggling. I told him that it is not okay to throw the iPad and that I’m sorry for reacting the way I did. I asked him if he was hungry and he said yes and he wanted a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. So together we made it, and together we went back downstairs. He enjoyed his sandwich (a couple of bites), chips and chocolate milk while justin and I enjoyed a nice evening.
Jack was upset he couldn’t go back in the pool. He is still learning to put a voice to the feeling. Jack was upset that his coping mechanism was met with frustration and anger not understanding that there is a better way of addressing it. I was upset that he wasnt listening, and had to go inside on a beautiful night. Justin was mad that he threw the ipad. We all have emotions thats are ever changing. But we all need to reflect on them, heal whatever we are able to so that we may promote healthier coping mechanisms and give our youth a better start.
How could we hold a child accountable when often times we can’t hold ourselves to the same stature? Why would it be acceptable to discipline a child from acting out from a place of hurt when we ourselves also do the same? First we must look within and change our ways so that our children can learn the right ways to handle stress. We must hold ourselves accountable so that we may be proud of setting the best example we possibly can for them. They pick up on it so fast its unbelievable.
He is the most sweet and caring boy, I am so proud to be his mom. He shows me his compassion while he tucks barney in and kisses them goodnight. When he accidentally gives me a booboo he kisses it and apologizes. He’s two, and I know many adults who don’t follow through like that. I’m raising a son to be a man one day and a whole one who will leave his warmth everywhere he goes. I will do the hardwork so that he doesn’t have to. I will heal all that I am able so that he may continue to let his light shine on all those he encounters.
Tata for now, may blessings and love shower over you all.