I have been reading ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People’ by Dale Carnegie and he recounts the story written by W. Livingston Larned titled “Father Forgets“. It really brought home what I am going through with my 2 [almost 3] year old.
I often forget that he is a little boy & that he doesn’t have all my knowledge and experience; and that he is not a man . . . still a boy in the carefree days of childhood.
Really, I look at him and somewhere it registers that he doesn’t understand nor think like an adult. So carefree and free from all our learned behaviors. Happy to have a hug or a cookie. Happy to wrestle on the floor with daddy and brother. Just happy.
When I remember that he is a boy, I try hard to make it up to him and tell him why daddy was wrong and apologize to him. I will often hold him and sometimes even cry with him [if he received some form of punishment]. I have to admit that I am getting better, at ‘remembering’ before I act. No, I am not perfect at it, I have just been practicing replacing my reaction with thought and then an appropriate action.
Now, when I see him do something I say to myself, “What are you going to do, he’s two?” Then I either let it roll off or think about a better approach than yelling or giving him a smack-bottom.
Discipline is necessary to teach him right from wrong, abuse is out of line, and as he grows so can the consequences. He will hopefully learn to make good decisions and grow up to be the man that I expect and believe he will become.
Now, I just have to continue to remember.