I’ll bet you didn’t know that I’m funny. There are times when I’m absolutely hilarious, ask my family! There are two more things you may not know about me. I’m seriously passionate about the work I do, and I’ve failed. Yes, I failed my kids!
The part where I said “I failed” is what caught your eye isn’t? Be honest, everyone likes to read a good failure story! Well, here’s one I think you’ll relate too. Read this story to its conclusion, part one and part two, because the end turns out a bit different than you might guess.
If you’ve been reading my blog for a while then you know my advice to parents is to allow your kids to learn from their choices. Stand beside them, be empathetic, and support them, but let them learn from the inside out.
Well, I’ve been known to react. There I said it! I’ve been known to lose it and react big time! And more than once!
I’ve been known to let my fear and emotions get the best of me. My reactions can be way over the top. At times my reactions are loud and filled with yelling. So for me, in my life, I consider that a failure. I know you want to hear about it, so here’s the story.
First, Let Me set The Stage
It was about one week before son #2 was to graduate from high school. Said child was going through a rebellious phase, unusual for him, but there it was. Everything we said to him seemed to be met with a snarky teenage attitude. One that sent the silent message … “What do you know?!”
Now, I know you’re kids are not teens—but hang in there with me, this story will be relatable, I promise!
Back To My Story!
It was a warm sunny day as hubby and I waited in line at our favorite breakfast place. We’d literally just been seated when our son called. He said that on the way home from graduation rehearsal his cell phone rang, and I think you know what happened next, he looked down for a split second and ran into the car in front of him.
I was livid. I was a jumble of mad and blame all mushed up together. I wanted to read him the riot act. I wanted to ground him. I wanted to take his car away! I wanted to lock him in his room for being so reckless. We’d told him again and again — n.e.v.e.r look at the phone when driving. I was so mad that I really had no idea what to do.
That’s when I began to feel like a failure. My mind was filled with rage, yes I was that mad! I was reacting big time! And as a result, I couldn’t think! I was drawing a blank.
As we drove up and saw several police cars another emotion blasted through. I was terrified. Was he hurt? Was someone else hurt? Now my mind was filled anger and fear! I had no idea what to do. My heart was racing. My anger was boiling. I was madder than I had been in years! I was a mess!
So when I tell you in newsletters and emails that I know what reacting does to you, trust me I do. This story is a perfect example of what reacting does to you.
It doesn’t matter what the situation is, or how old your kids are, when you’re reacting, you can’t think! And when you can’t think, yelling makes sense; it feels like the perfect release. Yelling takes on a life of it’s own, it can make you feel empowered with divine authority and cause you to throw threats and punishment at your child without stopping to take a breath!
Even though you may feel justified to yell, scream, threaten and punish, is it the best course of action, usually not.
You have to ask yourself, will my child really learn what to do instead of what he’s done if I scream at him? Will my child really understand all the reasons why: This. Is. Not. Okay. AND You. Should. Never. Ever. Do. This. Again!
Have you ever reacted like that? Have you ever reacted with an intensity that scared you? Scared your child? Caused you to stop thinking? I know you have. We all have!
What To Do
Wouldn’t you like to know what to say instead?
Wouldn’t you like to know what to say to buy yourself some time so you can calm down?
Wouldn’t you like to know how to handle any situation, from preschooler to school age to tweens and teens, so you don’t draw a blank like I did?
Well, I can show you.
I know that’s a tall order, but here’s the truth. I can share a new perspective, a new way to look at reaction triggers, and you can pair that with your intuition, wisdom, and rules so you can change things. I could share the words, and you could use the words, at the right time, to turn a reaction into a response.
Tomorrow I will share part two of the story, the resolution, what I said and did when I got out of the car. And tomorrow I will explain why I placed “can” and “could” in italics.