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    « 11 Year Old Boy Get His 100th Win in Wrestling, But What Kind of Character Comes With the Victory? | Main | Register Now for The Blended and Step Family Online Conference! »

    February 22, 2010


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    Thanks, great post! I had to chuckle about the comment on the 'instruction manual.' Even if our kids came with it, only us moms would read it anyway :) But all kidding aside, I really enjoyed reading your post.

    I think no matter what age our kids are it is very important to connect and LISTEN to what they have to say. Even when they say nothing.

    My boys are grown now, in their 20ies, and I have to remind myself at times to talk "to" them not "at" them. They are not children anymore and they deserve my respect and my treating them as young adults. As parent that sometimes is hard, because you have been talking "at" them for so long.

    Good thing is that children are so forgiving. Even if you have messed up, they still love you :)

    There is such wisdom in your recent comment about listening and treating children with respect. As I was reading your comment realizing you have two sons and the importance of listening even when they say nothing, I couldn't help but think of a story a speaker had shared at a conference about the differences in how we communicate as men and women.

    She had learned from many years of marriage that when going on road trips with her husband that most men are completely content driving for hours without saying a word. Just enjoying the quietness and looking at the view out the window. She on the other enjoyed engaging in conversation 80% of the time since they were together in a small closed in car for several hours. As time went on in their marriage she started taking books/magazines with her and realized her husband found the traveling more enjoyable and she didn't have to talk as much because the reading kept her occupied.

    Her oldest son was now in his 20's and they were about to take a 5 hour road trip. She decided to test this out on her son as well. She drove the entire trip and disciplined herself to not start a conversation the entire trip. She listened to music/audio CD's and drove.

    At the end of the trip her son got out of the car and said, "Mom, this is the best trip we've ever had, thank you." As you can guess most of the ladies in the audience laughed as they heard this story, but it's true. Who would have thought? I know that this particular teaching changed my whole thought process about men and communication. I remind myself all the time that I don't have to say anything to them. They are perfectly content being in the same room without saying a word.

    I don't think I am really connecting with my son. He just turned 2 and it seems like he is ALWAYS doing the exact opposite of what I tell him, so, as bad as this sounds, I am ALWAYS angry at him. I really don't mean to be and I try not to be but then he'll go and do something to annoy me again and stare at me while he's doing it. I don't know what to do anymore. I really feel like I am failing as a parent and more importantly failing him.

    You're not alone in the way your feeling about your 2 year old son. Possibly your anger will lessen if you think about the developmental stage he is in. At 2 years old they are gaining lots of freedom to move around because they are walking and full of curiosity. Littles ones fulfill their curiosity through touch. Think about babies and how the first thing you see them do with a new object is touch it with their fingers and then put it in their mouth. This is their first instinct to figure out what it is. Is it good or is it bad they are asking themselves? They don't know this until they touch it and then if they feel comfortable doing this they will bring it to their mouth. They have no idea if something is hot, breakable or poisonous until they touch it or eat it unless we as parents keep them safe by not letting them near such things.

    The other factor to consider is their memory capability. When you tell him not to touch something today in your living room it's unrealistic for you to expect him to remember that you told him this tomorrow afternoon. This is something that will take some time and consistency for him to learn and remember that he is not to touch that particular item.

    I think it's really important for all of us to remember that when they are in their exploration stage at 2 yrs old they really don't understand that they are irritating us or why we might be angry. They are still in a stage of innocence where they are in a mode of discovery of all the things around them and the people they encounter. When your son is looking at you when he's about to touch something he is waiting for a response that tells him it's right or wrong. He is looking at you for approval to figure out is this safe or dangerous. He's waiting to see if you will you respond happy or sad?

    Might I make a suggestion the next time this happens? See how things go when you try redirection to something that is acceptable. Like holding up a toy he enjoys playing with. Or go to him and pick him up and hold him for a moment showing him love and removing him from the area where he shouldn't be touching certain things. This allows you to redirect him in a way that shows him love and allows you to connect with him in a positive as his mom.

    Hope this gives you some clarity that can bring you peace?

    Let me hear if this helps?

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