Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Day 71: Gimme That!

Sometimes the values you've internalized reveal themselves despite your best efforts to live according to your conscious beliefs. I've been experiencing this quite a bit lately.

I don't buy into our culture's assessment of children - that they're lower than adults and unworthy of mutual respect - but having grown up with this idea, it's something I have to continually train myself away from. Fortunately, Jackson is ready, willing and able to help me with this.

As the boys' mother, it's my job to keep them safe and also sometimes to keep our home safe from them! At times this requires me to remove them from certain environments or remove certain objects from them. And as of late, urgency has caused me to default into disrespect.

Seeing Jackson hovering a Sharpe over his dry erase board, I instinctively grabbed it from his hand, and was met with an understandable mini-meltdown: "No, no, no, Mommy! I was using that. You can't take that from me!"

My reactive self wanted to give justification and avoid admitting I had done anything wrong. But thankfully I took a moment for reactivity to pass so I could thoughtfully respond.

I acknowledged that it was not okay for me to grab things from his hands, that I should have treated him with respect and asked for his cooperation instead of using force to overpower him.

I'm proud of him for accessing some of the tools we've worked on so that he could advocate for himself in this situation. I wish I could say we've moved happily on to tackle other challenges, but for some reason this is one I continue to wrestle with. But with his help, hopefully it'll be a distant memory some day soon.

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