Frustration and Tantrums

It’s been a long time since anyone yelled, screamed, stamped their feet, threw something, or slammed a door here. It’s unacceptable behaviour in my book, and I have spent a lot of time and energy working with the kids, particularly the boys, on other ways to communicate their frustration and anger.

Which is why I’m ashamed to say, that I was the one this week who threw a tantrum. A full blown tantrum with stomping of feet, throwing something at a wall, slamming of my bedroom door, and yes, yelling too.

It was not my finest parenting moment.

It lasted all of 2 minutes, but the damage to my relationship to J, the child who I was frustrated with was done the moment I lost it.

Relationship is so very important, how in the world could I damage it like that? What type of example am I setting?

Here I am losing it in the same manner I’ve told them, showed them, not to do. There are better ways. Ugh. Humbling, down to my knees, broken parenting moment.

But here’s what happened – I was frustrated because my eyes were on me. I was bending over backwards to give J opportunties to meet a deadline, giving up my quiet day at home, my time, to take him to get it done, and he wasn’t giving me the courtesy of a civil response or wasn’t being grateful enough to me for the opportunities.

ugh, notice how many “I”‘s and “me”‘s were in that? Horrifying.

In my room, calming down, I realized my focus, the damage, and while I was still angry, I refocused. So my day got messed up, but another day will come. And J is so much more important than that.

I apologized immediately for losing it.  He was in tears, hurt, but accepted my apology. and the rest of the afternoon and evening, we focused together on what needed to be done and letting go of the hurt and frustration.

Instead of my quiet day at home, he and I spent the evening at Starbucks, using their free wifi and the uninterrrupted space, to work to meet his deadline. and we laughed and giggled, and brainstormed, and laughed so very much more.

I offset his frustration by helping type while he dictated. And he helped me through the tediousness of the task at hand with his fun sense of humor and forgiveness.

It ended a good time, after an ugly incident. But it stays with me, the sadness that I reacted so badly, and the knowledge that I didnt get it even close to right.

It’s incidents like this that remind me that I am fallible. I may be my kid’s parent. But I am also a human being. When I’m not perfect, which is often, it is my responsibilty to not just model and teach the behavior that is appropriate, but also model graciousness, forgiveness, and humility.

I was wrong. I apologized and am very thankful that my son had the graciousness to forgive me and move on. I’m not proud of my actions, but I am proud of my son.

May I be as forgiving and gracious when the tables are turned on me.

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