Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A little raw

I should be writing about something safe right now... my next lesson on coupons, a review of my trip.. anything but what I am feeling now. My emotions are still raw, my eyes are still rimmed red.

Sometimes as a mother you have moments when you wonder if anything you are teaching gets through. Today is park day. We were the first ones from our group to arrive as usual. There was a little two-year-old boy there who Lucas quickly befriended. They were laughing and playing wonderfully. Soon the rest of our group started showing up. Overall thing were going good. I had to give a few reminders: don't throw play chips, wait till they get up the ladder first.. those sort of things.

But everything went dark when a little girl, probably about 6 or 7, came back to the park and approached Lucas. She was telling him that it she didn't like it when he lifted up her skirt. I stood there mortified was I hearing this right. Why in the world would he do that? Her dad said something was bothering her and she wanted to come back, he had no idea what had happened until he heard his daughter tell Lucas. He was great and understanding but I felt horrible, embarrassed, mortified, angry and then just miserable. I asked Lucas why he did this. He said he didn't want the girls (yes plural there was more than one) to be by him, so this was his solution to get them to leave. Innocent enough, yet it still just crushed me.

I've taught him better than this right?? I felt like a failure. Some of you might be thinking, it wasn't that big of a deal and even laughing at the innocence of it all... but when those moments come and in the moments, it is just the worst. I invest everything I have and am in my kids, yes it is probably my codependency speaking out, but when they fail I feel like I have failed.

Even as I am typing this the heaviness is starting to lift, I guess venting really does help. So Lucas and I have had a nice talk and we will keep going. How do you make it through those moments when your kids leave you feeling like a failure?
Venting helps a little bit of blue break through the darkness


  1. That is a hard one, but there is hope. First, he is 4 and kids still do not understand many things. His brain has not started forming all of the thought patterns/neuron pathways where he can remember and recall all of the things he is being taught. Usually he will remember when asked directly, but making the link between mommy said we need to respect our bodies and others to this action is a bad thing takes a while. With age, he will learn and the brain will start processing everything and keeping it together, but right now, his brain can not anticipate properly.

    Second, even when he is older and can form all of those connections, we have to ultimately remember that God gave us free agency and the kids have it as well. We teach and they learn, but ultimately as it is with all of God's children, we are free to choose and will make the choices we want to if we have been taught the right or not.

    Hopefully, in the end, we will make the choices that are correct because we have been taught the right, but in the end the parent's can only do so much. In the end, the child will make their own decision and exercise their agency and we can not take that God given right away from them.

    I know that second doens't apply, but it will later in life when they are older.

    On a related note, I have noticed lately with my kids who are a bit older how much their brains are not yet formed. For example, if I am carrying something heavy heading towards you, any rational person would see that and realize they have to move. If there is a door nearby, many will make the connection and realize this person will need help and hold the door.

    My kids, totally clueless. I am carrying something heavy heading directly for them and they see me and instead of realizing they need to move, they look at me and wonder what I am doing, or ask me why I am carrying that big thing, or where what I am going to do with it.

    I then tell them as I am about to drop the thing to move and they stand there looking at me. Second time, MOVE, and rather than moving to the side, they back away from me and usually end up standing right in the spot I am heading for. Third Time MOOVVVEEEE as I am about to loose my load directly on their head and the look around wondering what to do and I have to sweep them away with a leg.

    It isn't that the kids want to dis-obey or get in my way, it is just their brains are still putting together the ability of anticipating their surroundings and being able to predict what is going to happen. All a part of growing up. Anyway, I babble. Apologize to the person, talk with Lucas about how that is not appropriate (I am sure you already have done those) and chalk it up as a learning experience and hope it doens't happen again.

  2. Thanks Aaron. All very good points.. which most I know, especially with my degree in psychology, but as much as I know at the moment it is so easy to forget and just feel.
    Thanks though I really do appreciate everything you said.

  3. Hey, I just wanted to say I've loved seeing you around my blog! I totally knew who you were without you saying--- It was because of the portable high chair exchange with Todd that I bought one. :)

    Also, being a mom is hard sometimes. Like, really hard. My current hurdle is getting my 4 year old to quit saying really loudly, "Why is that person so fat/smelly/weird looking?!" right in front of them. I swear I've told him 100 times that's not kind/polite/Christlike and he still does it. It sounds like you handled it well, and are already feeling better. And it really does help to vent!

  4. I'm so sorry! It's totally hard when you're kids do stuff like that. He's a good kid though and YOU are a good mom! Keeping trying is all you can do. You're awesome!

  5. Oh Emily! My heart breaks for you! Don't doubt your skills as a mother, not one bit! Look at it this way, he was using creative problem solving! He really probably just did not connect the act with the intention in his mind.

    It sounds like he is a great kid, and I'm sure your talk with him will stick. Lesson learned!

    Coincidentally, my word verification I had to type in was "our rear". hahaha!!

  6. Hi Emily! Did you know I was following your blog? Anyway, you're a great mom, and you have awesome, smart, cute kids...you know that. Just think, after talking to him, he learned a valuable lesson, and won't do that particular thing again, like when he's a teenager. I hate it but I've made a mental list of things that my kids are going to do some day, like break a window, spill paint on the carpet, and get in a fight. I make the list so I don't freak out when it WILL happen. (If it doesn't happen, I will be very happy of course) I'm trying to prepare myself so that when it happens that one time, I can teach him well so it won't happen again. Just be glad he learned a valuable lesson, and don't take it personally. You've got a smart little boy, and he will do what smart little boys do...learn to get what he wants! And in a few years, he'll still do what smart boys do...figure out the consequences of his actions before he does the action. But he's 4 years old, he can't do that yet, like Aaron said.

    I just can't stand to see you hold any guilt when you are selfless and guiltless. Now get back on your blog and tell us more about coupons! I'm enjoying that vein, and the kid's books too!

  7. Christine, I didn't realize you are following my blog, I am glad you are :)

    Thanks so much everyone. I am feeling worlds better today. I got my codependency back in check and realize that I can be happy no matter what dumb/silly/embarrassing things my kids do.

    Thanks again everyone. Thanks for letting me vent and for supporting me.

  8. Hopefully its one of those experiences you can chuckle about later and maybe even embarrass him a little when he's older. I feel you though. It was a different situation, but my kid bit my good friend's son -HARD. So hard, the marks are still there and part of her blog today. Yah, that's a little hard to swallow as the momma. One of my (many) moments of failure... thanks, son. (check out the mark, he left: http://moss2004.blogspot.com/2009/05/bumps-and-bruises.html)

  9. Alicia I saw the marks, not fun! I guess if it isn't one thing it is always something different with kids. But hey we aren't going to be tried with things more than we can handle right??? ;)

  10. It is hard when our kid make choices that go against what we have taught them.

    The best we can do is to continue to teach them. Especially when they are young. And love them no matter what. Let them know that you love them but you don't like the bad behavior.

    It gets much, much harder as they get older and the mistakes get bigger. We just need to realize that they have to make their own choices. And teach them the best they can so that they will hopefully make the right choices when faced with difficult ones.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog, btw!