Let’s face it, some days are easier than others as a parent. Yesterday was one of those not so easy days. Actually….it was a day that although terribly frustrating begged me to place attention on what needed to shift. From the time my son set foot in our home yesterday, he refused to cooperate. It was as if my 7 year-old son had regressed emotionally to the age of 3. He ran away from me during homework time, pushed his sister and mocked me several times. Needless to say, he pushed several of my buttons. I remember him vaguely stating however that he was upset as he rushed through the door because he didn’t get a chance to do “rocket math” in school. I brushed that comment off quickly in favor of getting to our daily tasks. That was my mistake. He continued his mischievous antics until I was eventually driven to send him to his room giving him the lecture on “respecting household rules”.
My nerves were still frazzled when I called him down for dinner a little while later. As he sat before me eating his dinner he looked up and said, “I was mad today because I didn’t get a chance to do “rocket math” in school. His face revealed raw emotion. The emotion I did not stop to acknowledge the first time he expressed his feelings that day. I looked at him, marveling at the connection he had made. I thanked him for his honesty and asked if that was the reason he was breaking all the rules. He answered “yes”. I knew it was a perfect teaching moment. I immediately suggested he could have talked to me about his feelings and I would have helped him deal with the anger in a better way. He asked “How can I deal with it better?” I explained that feelings come and go and that sometimes, simply talking about our feelings helps them to disappear. Other times we need to do something more serious like…..have a pillow fight. I pointed out how much stress was caused by holding on to those heavy emotions. He agreed and ingested the information presented. He immediately settled back into a calm and easy state. That was his lesson.
This was my lesson: I learned that conscious parenting means making the act of “listening” to our children a priority. It means being AWARE even amidst chaos and calamity because those moments are strong anchors for truth to be unveiled. I learned that if my children come home and share their upsets about anything…however vague that I need to honor them in whatever way I can. It creates a safe space for feelings to unfold and supports them in honoring those feelings as they grow into adults. I explained to my son that I would listen more carefully next time and I meant it.
I believe that Life will present us with everything we need to grow and flourish. When we set the intention to stop and reflect upon that which becomes manifest especially during those uncomfortable, confusing or unsettling situations we grasp the lesson and thus evolve. Yesterday was a tough day, tough in a extraordinary kind of way because it brought meaning to my tomorrows.
Listen quietly……be patient with yourself and with your children as the unraveling of wisdom occurs. Remember, we are all a work in progress.