1/30/11

On starting the day with a CLEAN SLATE!!

One of the most important thing to remember as a teacher and a parent is that every new day is a clean slate. Kids are incredibly sensitive people that pick up on the even most minute negative energy coming from an adult and to know that any past mishaps are forgiven and forgotten is so essential in being able to move forward. I know this because I remember just knowing my 'place' in the class based on my teacher's actions. I remember being in a shy and quiet 4th grader, an English language learner, struggling at home and at school, and knowing instinctually how my teachers felt about me from the ever so subtle bits and fragments of social cues I picked up from them. As young people we learn to weave together bits of action clues from the grown-up world and interpret all those actions into some kind of kid-friendly truth by which we then build our world and our own truths.

Yesterday, in the heat of being placed in time-out for having bothered his sister for the 4th time, my 6-year old son yells out how he loves dad a 'billion' times more than me. I have heard comments such as these before and I know how meaningless they are coming from an angry, out-of-control child being placed in time-out. But this time, those words stopped me in my tracks. I made sure he did not get the satisfaction of seeing me crumble, but inside I was stung, I was hurt. I emotionally pulled inside for a few hours while we drove around looking at houses (we are house hunting) and all along I knew what the right thing to do was, it was just hard to get there as my hurt struggled to close him off emotionally. From knowing the science of pain and suffering, I knew and trusted that the sting of those words would fade from my body in time and that I would not feel this hurt for long. As the Buddhists explain, pain is just an energy force that run through our body. I was going to not react until it faded.

As I knew it would, at around bedtime the words have lost their sting and I felt the hurt leave me, I felt lighter already. I pulled my son aside and told him how hurt those words made me feel and that dad and I loved him so much, and how special he was to us, and how being our first child, he was first imagined in a wish between dad and I. I then reminded him how people's hearts are delicate and easily broken and that words are very powerful tools that can cause great pain or great happiness. He apologized, kissed and hugged. He felt good that he could fix something and I felt great that I could let go and breathe....

As I walked back to bed with true peace back at my side I was reminded of Tyler Perry. I am a HUGE Tyler Perry fan. In his movies he emphasizes that forgiveness is not for the perpetrator, forgiveness is for us, it helps the victim.....and in his words, "There's nothing like real forgiveness, a deep-down forgiveness ..." . How true those words ring tonight.

2 comments:

  1. Nice post.
    My "baby" is 22 years old, and he still has his moments where he does something that irks me or hurts my feelings, but every time (and I really mean EVERY) time we talk on the phone (he's in college) or he leaves the house to go somewhere (when he's home), or he heads to bed, he always says "I love you". Same thing with any email he sends. Your kids definitely will feel your love when you take the time to talk with them like that, and they will also return it.

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  2. Oh, that is so incredibly heartwarming......I can just hope that my babies will be just as sweet.....a mother's love is one of the most beautiful love there is.....I always tell them both that I will always love them there is nothing they could do to make me not love them.....

    Thanks for your comment......have a great week.

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