My little Matt and I had a lesson in parenting last night.
Throughout their entire lives, I have always told the kids that no matter what, you can always come to Momma or Daddy. Even if you think we might get mad. Never be afraid to come to us.
Last night after bed time, Matthew came to me with a tear streaked face and this hand written note. He was clearly very worried. My poor boy.
For an instant, I was really angry. He disobeyed and brought his tablet into the bedroom. He disobeyed and hadn’t gone to bed when I told him too. He did not follow the rules, and I was angry.
But I didn’t say anything. He was clearly upset and already knew he did wrong. He even said so in his note. I sat there and re-read the note, knowing this little man is waiting for my reaction.
I had told him to always come to momma and daddy. This little man rely’s on me to show him. And I did. I hugged him, he hugged me back and he cried. Nearly 10 years old and he still crawled into my lap for a tight hug while he cried.
When his crying turned to a few little hiccups now and then, we calmly sat and talked about what had happened. He knew he was loved unconditionally. That I was certainly upset, but I stilled loved him tremendously. But he DID know that no matter what, he can always come to me. I will always love this brilliant little man of mine. He knows if he wants another one, he will have to work for it.
This little boy I am raising will grow up to be a man. I want him to be strong and independent, and I want him to know that love is not conditional. That sometimes we all make mistakes. And that’s ok. Everyone makes mistakes. But you can never take back an unkind or cruel word.
I could have easily yelled at him. Punished him..or even spanked him, but he already knew he had done wrong. What good is it to yell at him? He already feels bad. What he needed most was a mothers love. As he wrote in the note, he already felt stupid. I let him know that he was not stupid at all. That he just made a mistake. That he is a very talented and bright little boy, and he meant no harm. It’s never stupid to have an accident. That this is an opportunity to learn. It’s ok to make a mistake.
This morning instead of waking up with guilt, with his little eyes all puffy from crying himself to sleep…he woke up happy, positive and full of all sorts of idea’s and plans that he could do to begin earning money to buy his own tablet.
Co-incidentally, if anyone needs a little helper, I have an awesome little man that is looking forward to the challenge of a “job” as he works to buy himself a new tablet…which he will most likely NOT break in the same way again. 😉