If I do not feel incredibly guilty, I would be laughing. Last Friday we were supposed to visit a friend in the afternoon so I kept telling Sophia to take a shower since morning. She finally did around 130 pm. Then the power went out and I lost it again. I lashed at her for not listening to me and now she had to take a cold shower.
I was motivated mainly by worry that she will catch a cold. And to be honest, I was a little bit annoyed that I had asked her over 10 times and she did not listen. I felt a bit righteous, I guess. So I shouted at her to hurry. Turned out, I should have been more concerned about how I treated her than the absence of hot water, I was colder than the water.
I dismissed what happened after, though on hindsight I do not think we apologized to each other. Then 7 hours later, before getting into her pajamas, in the bathroom too, I was surprised when she suddenly said she needed to talk to me about something urgent (I need to teach her what the word means). It did not even cross my mind that it was about the shower incident.
She started by telling me she felt like I hated her when I was shouting at her. And in turn, she hated herself. I was caught off guard. I was speechless for a few seconds. Feeling remorseful, I first hugged her and I looked her in the eyes when I told her I was sorry and I will always love her, no matter what happens. Always and forever. I added that I did not hate her, never ever hated her, and will never ever hate her.
I proceeded to explain to her that I was just worried and I lost my patience. That I actually acted out of love, but just the way I did was not the most patient, gentlest possible. Then she said I should be more careful with my actions and words because I cannot turn back time and take back what was already said.
She apologized for not listening to me too. Then told me about this YouTube video she saw about parenting, apparently. She said I should watch, it explains how parents affect children’s happiness etc. I told her I am so glad she told me how she feels. Because I really would not have known otherwise. I need to work more on my compassion.
I felt horrible and could not apologize enough to her. She gave me a tight hug and said it is ok, Mommy. I am both so proud and embarrassed to think that my 7 year old showed more maturity than me. I would like to think though that she would not turn out this way if not for her mother. For I will shamelessly take the most (if not sole) credit for raising her.
For the last year since I have been obsessed with personal development, I make sure I share with her what I find useful and interesting. It does not matter whether she is too young to understand yet, I believe if I tell her enough, it will eventually get through to her. It makes me all the more motivated to be better so I can raise her better. Few things I believe she has already learned:
- One cannot take back what was already said.
- Breathe first before reacting when mad. I failed this miserably, while she waited for 7 hours to talk to me (and calmly, too).
- One can communicate how he or she feels in a nice, gentle manner. And it goes both ways, I make sure she knows how I feel also.
- It is okay to make mistakes. She cleverly uses this during homeschool. I, on the other hand, should stop using this as an excuse and try harder.
I should, because this is not the only time something like this happened. But definitely the first time Sophia had the guts (I do not mean this in a derogatory manner but rather complimentary) to call me on it in a very grown up way anyway (or is it?). She sure acts like one sometimes.
I really should shape up, soon and fast! How humiliating would it be if she beats me to it! I promise, Sophia, I will be a better person and raise you better! Oh, I love you so much, my darling daughter! I apologize for all of my shortcomings, but like I always tell you, I try, Anak. How my heart melted when you lovingly told me “I understand, Mommy. I forgive you.”
To all the parents out there, sometimes it seems like our kids do not listen, but they do. I have always treated Sophia like a young adult, and there are moments when she acts like one. I am not perfect and will continue to make a lot of mistakes, and I will be kind to myself. For that is another lesson I want my daughter to learn.
Has your child ever acted more like a grown up than you?
#ToABetterSarah #RaisingSophia #SophiaJulienneAt7 #FromZeroToHero