Sunday, February 22, 2009
Kye in Charge
So, back to my comment about what our kids may say about us when they are in therapy. This thought initially came up for me when I was having a discussion with Kye about his birthday party. You see, he wanted to have all the fun first and THEN eat. The only problem with that was our shindig was going to start at noon- the time, traditionally indicated for lunch.
I suggested that we have the fashion show first (as Kye indicated) and then eat, so hungry guests could get their grub on. He did not like that idea and said clearly, "Mom you said I could be in charge and you are not letting me!" I shared that he actually was in charge of many things and reminded him of his input and my responsiveness to his thoughts, but he was stuck on this one point; his heart was set on having this thing, his way.
As a parent, I had an internal dialog going on, as I often do, when facing conflicting values. Do I go with Kye's flow and potentially starve our guests? Do I override his suggestion, leaving him desperately disappointed? I thought about banking on the fact that he probably won't remember this conversation when his friends arrive anyway (you know a sneaky maneuver).
What I ended up doing was appeal to Kye's rational self and asked him to trust me. I reassured him that everything was going to be alright and that we would have fun, and I would try my best to incorporate his ideas. He was happy to agree and seemed to "know" that I would honor him.
Once I figured out that it was anxiety driving his insistence, I was able to provide him support in a way that calmed him down. And luckily, there was enough trust in the system that he could hand it over to me.
This little scenario was good for me. It helped me to see some things about myself and my relationship with Kye. I could have been offended that he did not trust me initially. I could have forced the issue, gotten overwhelmed, felt guilty or complicated things for myself; fortunately I did not do any of these things.
The thing I come to realize is that parenting is hard. How do we know how to react in just the right way at the right time? When is it time to make a big deal of something, or let something pass? And, to make it worse, or better, each child may require a different approach and response.
I suppose we do our best, keep an open mind, listen and respond with love.