Parenting: Do as I say not as I do

WTF Dad?

So I am pretty sure that this is nothing new to anyone who has either been a child or is already a parent.

Pretty sure. I mean, I remember clearly times where my mom would grab her hair in frustration and tell me exactly that.

DO as I SAY and not as I DO!

Now I know why.

Eish, but when your children mirror your actions it can either be the cutest thing in the world or nails on your chalkboard of life.

I am currently going through one of those phases with Griffin, where I have to constantly remind myself that I cannot get angry when he pulls his shoulders back, raises his hands up in the age old gesticulation of “What the fuck?”.

I do it all the time.

Luckily I don’t actually say WTF otherwise I would be dealing with that too…

*sigh*

Sometimes one truly needs a child to show you just exactly how imperfect you are and to drive you to strive to be a better person.

Well, that’s how I see it anyway.

Having to remember all the time that the logic in a six year olds head is nothing like the logic in my slightly pickled ever so jaded more than 30 year old head is not so easy to do.

Emma and I have even started using the word “Constantinople” as a “safe-word”. Not in a BDSM kind of way although… (note to self…) but in a way that allows me to interfere with how Emma is reacting to a behavioural event with our son. More likely for her to let me know that I am over reacting or setting too harsh a punishment for something Griffin has done.

Just having this objectivity thrown into the middle of a disciplinary action is enough to get me to stop doing what I fervently (at that time) believe is right and back off, probably even defer a talk or action till later once I have managed to pull my emotional reaction away from whatever the cause of the incident in the first place was.

This works well for us as it has ended up with having an unexpected side effect, laughter.

I mean seriously, once you are in “I AM CROSS AND WILL PUNISH YOU” mode, there is little that can diffuse that more than having a chuckle at how ridiculous it is to be having these power plays with your child. And sometimes that is exactly what you need.

My son doesn’t know when I have had a bad day, he doesn’t understand if I was up late drinking, he doesn’t know what it means to be stressed, well, not like me anyway and I suppose I also don’t give sufficient credence the the pressures and stresses a boy of 6 goes through himself.

The long and short of it is that the implementation of this safe-word has lead to some startling revelations that the things that get the hair on my neck raised the fastest typically tend to be imitations of how I act. Whew there’s a revelation. I see me in the mirror that is my son and I get crotchety?

I am sure Freud would have a field day with that though I am more inclined to say that as a wild human animal I behave in ways that I think are appropriate. So if I am frustrated or annoyed, pulling a WTF pose and being a little insolent is probably what I think would most get my point across. No suprise then that when someone does exactly to me, I immediately pop and go into “HUH? WHAT? YOU DIDN’T JUST DO THAT DID YOU?” mode.

Sigh (again).

I can only hope my son learns as much from me as I do from him.

Keep on rockin’

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