My son was born smiling. Literally...fifteen minutes after birth he was smiling. Now medically, I understood that he was still learning “how to use those muscles” and smiling is based on involuntary movement (yes that was an inner nerd moment)...however, the guy never stopped smiling. He is the most compliant kid I know...not passive...simply compliant.
Yesterday, a situation came up. This guy was totally slacking on his work, which led to difficulties keeping up with the daily schedule. I went through my “normal” speech about “staying on task,” and the importance of “remaining disciplined,” but in that moment...he started whimpering and punishing himself.
It was clear that this guy felt worse than I did, which ultimately lead me to halt my thoughts, in exchange to listen to his. It was in that moment where I realized that he was upholding himself to a standard that I never required.
He proclaimed that for a week he would “stand in a corner with no toys to make sure his work was completed.”
By then, I just felt bad for the guy (I didn’t feel bad enough to allow him to shirk his responsibilities...but bad enough to stop fussing).
Good kids are just that...good kids...yet, I’ve learned that kids who are a little too “put together” are more susceptible to falling apart. I expect my son to be responsible for the task assigned; however, I also believe that he is allowed to make “kid mistakes.” In that moment, I wondered if enough was done to let him know that I appreciate his work ethic and EVERYONE and I mean EVERYONE wants to avoid work task from time to time. Heck, I’m quick to have a secondary task while completing a primary task.
I learned in this moment that I would start to be more mindful about telling him how “wonderful he is at everything” because clearly work avoidance and disappointing mom is not something he’s accustomed to do. I will also be more mindful, creating a space that celebrates both victories and failures without the feeling that he “failed mom.”
Like all parents, I want my little guy to do his best; however, not to the point of prescriptive persecution. Not to the point of feeling like one mistake, or one moment of goofing off would hinder his slate of being a darn good kid.
Word changing is hard. And it is within these moments that even within my own world there are things that I have to continually change to make sure my sugars are being pushed to purpose (within reason) and have fun along the way (punishment free).
Take the time this week to celebrate your sugar. Not for being “amazing” at something but just for simply being them. That is always more than enough.
As always, I am cheerleading with you and for you in the corner!
Until the next time, Take Care, C