I See The Worst Of Me In My Son!

I have very low reserves of patience and I love to yell at the slightest provocation. A few days back my elder son lashed out at his younger brother and I like a hero rushed to the rescue. ‘Hey stop shouting at him like that’ I ‘yelled’ back and he turned around and said ‘oh ya? And there I stood zapped & cornered. It hit me like a bolt. It wasn’t only the shouting. There were so many things from there on I started to notice in him which were mine and the worst part was that I was criticizing him for the very habits that I embodied. This was a revelation and a very harsh one!

What was I thinking? I knew it all along that kids learn more by observation than instruction. And yet somewhere I missed that part and even forgot to hope that he wouldn’t emulate me. But every action has a consequence and here I am faced with a dilemma I know not how to deal. My son has become my mirror, reflecting all that what I cannot see myself doing and I hate the show.

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Some traits I’m proud of but others? Oh how I wish I could erase all that from his personality. I have suddenly cracked the mystery of why he has mood swings, why he just won’t join us for dinner at times and upsets everyone, why he is so stubborn when it comes to choices, why he hates bathing on weekends wanting to roam around in PJs most of the time, why he sometimes turns a deaf ear and won’t help at home even when the rest of us are overworked and why oh why does he have this irritating habit of having his snack while watching television! I have the answers but the big question in front of me is, what do I do about it? How do I change those habits in him? Is it possible to do that? Or do I have to direct my energies somewhere else. Towards me? Here’s hoping that it isn’t a bit too too late.

We all have a dark side to us that needs a little work and maybe our kids are nature’s way to remind us that it is high time.

I am guilty and I am a little ashamed too for taking things lightly but I am going to tackle it head on as there is no other way forward for me. I am going to have a little heart to heart with my son. I will take complete ownership of those traits in both of us and relieve his young shoulders off some load to begin with. He will have my assurance that we will deal with this together as a team.

Next will be to make him aware about how he can work on the negatives and minimize them NOW at this early stage instead of letting them become very rigid habits that will be very difficult to get rid of later. Unless he wants to see the same in his kid too. Yes, he can take my example. But I won’t let him think that I have failed as an adult. I have to be careful here. My son needs to look up to me and by exhibiting just the right amount of vulnerability I will only aim to show him my human and fighter side from which he can learn his lesson.

Now comes the difficult part. We both will have to become each other’s support systems and do whatever it takes to weaken the unpleasant attributes. We may need counselling or may need to read or research or practice and exhibit great amount of will power. But one thing is sure and that is, I shall be the one who will be working much harder here to make a difference. I will have to take charge and pave the way for him to follow.

And then once again I shall be seeing myself in my son.  Only this time it will be a much better version of me. Hopefully

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