Feedback & Teaching From My Son (Relevant for Parents)

my 4 year old teacher

my 4 year old teacher

I’m running errands with my kids yesterday. I had a short window and we had to get a lot done, so I rushed the whole afternoon to make dinner and bedtime “on time” whatever that means. “I know, let’s rush 3 hours before bedtime to make bedtime on time!” WTF?

At some point my son says “Dad, you are moving too fast for me.” I wasn’t walking or talking to fast. It was my vibe that was too fast. I checked in with myself. He was spot on, so I said “you’re right.” But I still chose to keep up my anxious, rushed vibe. He’s never given me this feedback and he let me know three times in one day. I also noticed I was irritable which was a sign something was going on just under the surface that needed my attention.

So, near bedtime, while I was “hurrying up” to get my pj’s on in the other room, he bit his sister, something he has not done if a very long time. I was instantly enraged and reacted. I so wanted to bite his face off. I didn’t do that but did raise my voice and grabbed him firmly. He cried as I revealed a part of myself I’d rather not show him. We hugged. I finally slowed myself down while holding two screaming kids and breathed. Then I began the repair. I took responsibility for what I had done and acknowledged his fear and hurt. We were now reconnected and I was back to a pace that facilitates being connected and attuned (a need he was wanting). I felt a new level of freshness in our connection.

Looking back, I needed a discharge. I also needed to be with my anxiety instead of enrolling my children into my state of being. I saw the signs hours before and my son’s feedback was his attempt to tell me something was off in our connection. Since I didn’t listen, he had to make a scene by hurting his sister. That grabbed my attention.

Why am I sharing all of this? Because you parents get this type of afternoon and it’s a reminder to us (mostly me) to listen to the feedback my kids are trying to communicate to me before I make a mess. If I’m present, I often hear the message. When I have an agenda and am not dealing with below-the-surface emotions, I’m less likely to listen, or I’ll simply give my listening lip service, instead of really hearing the wisdom coming from my four-year old.

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