#SingleParent #amIdoingitright

Oil painting landscape - colorful autumn forest


This morning, I was faced with a dilemma.

My son and I attended open house at Aidan’s new middle school last night.  I bought him gym clothes which I gave him to carry and we met all his teachers.  It was a good night.  Aidan, I am glad to report, is doing fabulous so far in his new digs.

When we got home, I failed to notice that my son had forgotten his gym clothes at school in one of the many classrooms we visited and  this morning it became a huge issue.  And by huge issue, I mean I scolded my son and talked about responsibility.  His response was to cry.

I felt like the worst parent in the world, and it made me realize that I was now his only parent, and I didn’t know what the hell to do.  The gym clothes didn’t need to be a huge issue.  It is a minor problem. Easy enough to fix. Aidan is already set to ask at school if any bags were turned in. If not, no biggie.  I can buy new clothes.  It was my son’s reaction that bugged me more than anything.  He cried.

I didn’t raise my voice. I didn’t say he was in trouble. I didn’t spank him, nothing, all I did was correct him and remind him he needed to be responsible for his own things and he cried.  I had noticed this in other things he did as well.  If he got a homework assignment wrong, when I correct him, he gets very frustrated and cries.  He frequently calls himself stupid (note we are NOT allowed to say stupid, or use derogatory adjectives in our house) and is very negative.

Did I do that to him?  Every time he gets upset, we talk about trying.  How no one is perfect when they learn something new. Everyone has to try and and everyone has to learn.  Yet still he cries.  Did I do this too him?  Am I correcting him too much, will he grow up to be insecure, or is he just type A.

It’s worse now that I am my son’s only parent, (we lost our daddy this year) and there isn’t anyone to turn to discuss these issues, to help me try to understand and to help my son grow up into a confident man, a good person, a loving parent himself.  Am I responding appropriately to situations or am I projecting my own day onto my son.

It damn near made me cry myself and it was all over gym clothes.

I love my son, but am I doing it right?

Then I realized this is question is not just a me thing.  I am smart enough to know this is a single parent, hell, this is a  parent thing.  We all want the best for our child and our own insecurities, sadness, hungriness (I am wildly grumpy when hungry) sleepiness, grumpiness will play a factor in our child’s life.

And that is okay, as long as we try and remember we are trying and doing our best and forgive ourselves.  The exact same issues that I was teaching my child. We are all learning, there is no perfect way to do things, there is just a way.  Do your best.

So that is what I learned today and hopefully taught my son.

I would love to hear everyone’s stories of child rearing. It is an ongoing process for me.  How do you deal with issues in your house? I am going to need inspiration in the future.


One Comment:

  1. It is very difficult. My son is a strong willed child, yet when corrected, he gets very emotional. I believe that part of it is personality. You also have to look at other factors. You said that he lost his daddy earlier this year. I lost my daddy 3 years ago (when I was 25) and I was an emotional disaster for close to a year. If ANYTHING reminded me of my daddy, I broke down in tears. I couldn’t listen to any radio stations that played the type of music my daddy listened to, or look at pictures, or anything. I couldn’t even get out the little box that had some of my daddy’s ashes in it (a little memorial box) out of the bag my step mom gave me until after the 1 year anniversary of his death. If I was that messed up at 25, imagine how he must be feeling. I’m not saying this to criticize you, or make you feel bad, or insinuate that you haven’t considered his feelings; and if that’s how this came across, I’m truly very, very sorry. I just know it sometimes helps to have input from the outside. Coming from someone who has been there, sometimes it helps to just sit down and talk aboiaboiiurt it. Yes, it will be painful, but it will be therapeutic too. He’ll understand that he’s not alone in his he’s feeling, that its perfectly normal. And I think that also helps open the door for more communication. Of course, that’s just my opinion.

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