A Book for My Son?

A few days ago, I wrote about rushing my son out the door on our way to school, and how I inadvertently caused him tremendous stress, thinking we were going to be late. Well, today I got a whole new understanding of what my repeated use of the words “Come on,”—and the anxiety they create—could do to my children. My son, realizing that we were going to be late for his taekwondo class, ran to the door and screamed over and over again—in a voice that sounded nothing like my sweet six year-old boy—”Come here! Come here! Come HERE!!!!” He was completely beside himself with the fear that we might be a minute or two late for class. I wish I could tell you that I knew exactly what to say in that moment, but in reality, I just laughed. I mean really laughed. I couldn’t believe that my normally calm little boy was standing next to my car stomping his feet over being late. When I finally got my laughter under control, and as we were heading down the street, I tried to reason with him—to relieve some of his anxiety—but to no avail. It wasn’t until we pulled into the parking lot and he could see that his class hadn’t actually started that he finally stopped freaking out. He calmly said “Okay I’m not late,” and got out of the car. I had to wonder for a moment if I should actually be writing this advice to him. I then realized that today the advice should actually be for me. If I don’t want to create a person who is neurotically obsessed with being on time—like me—then I had better watch how I react to the little bumps in life, no need to turn them into something bigger than they are . . .

Published by Erin Rehill

A few years ago, my then eight-year-old daughter told me that she wished I could write down all the things I told her so that she wouldn’t forget them when she got older. In that moment, my daughter gave me such a sense of validation, something I hadn’t really experienced in that way. As parents, we don’t often receive confirmation from our children that we are doing a good job, or that we even know what we are talking about. Since that time, I’ve started to pay more attention to the things I tell her, often thinking to myself “Will she remember this when she is older?” So, this is for her, my words of advice to be read, thought about, laughed at, and maybe even used, when she is older.

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  1. Wow, loved this post because it was a very serious point to reflect on. My daughter is only 7 months old but i know that my reactions and actions to things will greatly mold her. Thank you for the post!

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