Wednesday, June 5, 2013

She's a Better Mommy


My oldest son loves...no, scratch that...is in love with my mom.  He wants to spend all his time with her.  He wants to call her when she's not around.  She's the first person he wants to tell when something exciting has happened.  I love watching this because, if I'm completely honest, I've been that crazy about her my whole life too.  She's just that kind of woman.  Every one wants to be her friend.  But over the last few days, my oldest one has been a bit too honest about how much he loves his granny.

"I would like to live at Granny and Papa's house and have her be my Mommy instead," my oldest announced as we rounded the corner into her neighborhood.  We were dropping off my youngest so that he could spend time with her and my oldest was not happy about the situation.  I tried to play it cool.  "I know you love Granny very much, honey.  But I would miss you very much if you lived at Granny's house," I told him.  "Well, I wouldn't miss you so let's just do it," he said flatly.  Nice.

I maneuvered my way out of the conversation as best I could thinking he was just struggling with a bit of jealousy.  I let him know he would see her tonight for a sleepover and, in the meantime, we could have a special day together.  I overcompensated by taking him to pet puppies and bunnies at the pet store hoping
that it would distract him.  On the way home I said, "I really enjoyed spending time with you, love." To which he replied, "Yeah, it was fun but it would have been more fun at Granny's."  Another ouch.

A continuous loop began in my head.  He's only four.  He's only four.  He's only four.  You are being oversensitive.  Of course he loves his Granny.  She's wonderful to him.  Who wouldn't want to be there?  That doesn't mean he doesn't love me.  He's only four for goodness sakes.  

"I don't love you as much as I love Granny," my son said as I got him packed for his sleepover.  Enough was enough.  I sat him down and explained to him how hurtful words can be.  I told him that it's okay to love Granny with all his heart, but it's not okay to say mean things to me.  "Oh, but Mommy, I don't really want her to be my mommy.  You're the best Mommy.  I love you very much," he said as he wrapped me in a big hug.  "Sorry!" he shouted as he bounced away.

Even kids need to know when they hurt your feelings.  I had avoided the topic all day making a litany of excuses rather than confronting him about his words.  He is only four.  There's no question about that.  But he's also a four year old  that is very capable of learning how to finesse his words in a way that isn't hurtful.  It's our job (my husband and I) to teach him that.  Especially when it's my feelings that have been hurt.  If I hadn't, who knows what kind of crazy ideas would have popped into my mind.  It's always better to clear things up at the very beginning, even if the offending person is only four.

How do you talk to your kids about their hurtful words?  How do you get past making excuses and use it as a teaching opportunity?


1 comment:

  1. My four year old has told me the exact same thing, that he would rather live with my in-laws :) They don't mean it, they are just trying to get attention using words. Your son is adorable!

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