There are so many times as a parent, I talk to my boys and they just don’t listen.
I know this is common. The worst is when they are staring you right in the eyes, but you know they are off on another planet. It gets frustrating. However, there are those rare times when just the opposite happens.
The other night was one of those times. Our whole family was coloring on the floor listening to music. I have a couple of adult coloring books that my boys prefer to their own. My son’s choice that night had, “Can we all get along” plastered across it. How appropriate!
The first three words are sight words from school. My wife and I talked to each other like he wasn’t there, hoping he would show off for us. “Wouldn’t it be cool if he read that to us?!” “Wow, that would be amazing!”
Then he used the worst “four letter word” I ever want to hear him say. “I can’t do it!” he announced.
We were both shocked and tried to explain how they were words he knows. As coloring came to an end, my wife took our younger to the bathroom to start getting ready for bed. I laid down next to my son and asked him how it was going. “Good,” he replied looking me in the eyes. He was here and present.
For a long time now, I have slowly been putting what I call “seeds” in my boys’ heads, then I look for situations to use examples for my boys to learn from. This was one of them.
I watched as he colored in the background. He drew a line a couple inches from the bottom then started coloring the lower portion in.
“Where did you learn to do that?” I asked.
“I just thought it up!”
“Do you know what you are doing there?”
I proceeded to explain how he took a large problem, “the whole background” and divided it into smaller more manageable problems. He was beaming, so I continued. It’s like reading, don’t be overwhelmed by all the words, break them down one word at a time. Then letter by letter.
I saw the light bulb shining brightly. Then I asked him to look at me and if he could do me one favor. He nodded. Don’t ever use the word “can’t” again.
I explain what it does to his confidence, he will never know how far he can go with an attitude like that. I explained there are other words, adult words (I have a terrible mouth – so I am sure he knows quite a few of them) and there are words that should just never be thought, yet alone said. Using that word means you have already given up.
The best part is, I could tell he heard it.
We had a brief conversation after, packed up and went to bed.
I consider this to be two seeds well watered. I know I will have to keep an eye out again in the future to do some more watering, but for now, I think these seeds are going growing well.
What seeds are you growing in your garden?