Oh man. Days like this. Tears, tantrums, illogical arguments, outrageous demands…and then there’s the kids.
I see things in myself that really upset me. I hate it. I used to see it as a teacher. Overemotional, shouting, trying to ‘win’. As a teacher, when I shouted at kids I would kick myself mercilessly for days. I would get so upset with myself because I knew how unacceptable it was. The best advice I ever got from an older and much wiser teacher was this, never, ever try to win. Once you enter that battle of wills, you have lost. Even if you win. Because the damage that you do a relationship with a child by winning at their expense is irreparable.
If I was attending an anonymous anything group, it would be shouters anonymous. I said sorry to Mr 4 the other day for shouting and his reply was but why do you say sorry and then keep shouting? Ouch. The painful, brutal honesty of kids. I must, must do better. The irony of it is, that I can do the same thing, get the same message across, hold up the same expectations and move no behavioural boundaries but do it in a calm voice. I know I can. I have done it. I do it at work every minute of the day.
Funny that this post should follow my last ‘sanctimonious parent’ post. Like I said, strengths and weaknesses. The only thing I can do is to keep going back to him, keep saying sorry, keep telling him that shouting is not OK. Keep showing him that I am not perfect but that I won’t ever give up trying.