Don’t take it personally

Last Friday, our school let out early to celebrate Homecoming. My boys came home and Austin announced that he’d like to go to the Homecoming parade.

I told him that if he wanted to go, I’d go with him. To that he promptly replied, “Mom, I dont want to go with YOU. I want to go with my friends.”

Of course….what was I thinking?

It’s taken me five kids to realize that when a statement like that is made, I can’t take it personally!

Those few words were all about my son and not about me at all. This is not rejection. This is birthing pains…birthing pains of independence.

And its normal.

When we, as parents, make our childrens actions, misbehavior, or words about us, we cease being an effective parent. Instead we have to realize that their words, their actions, their misbehavior is about them, not us. We need this perspective to be able to effectively handle whatever situation we are facing.

I ended up taking Austin to the parade…I dropped him off to meet his friends along the route. An hour later I picked him up.

We talked along the way to and from the parade about school and some of his friends.

If I’d taken his comment personally, I would have missed out on some great conversations with my son.

What about you? How do you work to not take your childrens actions personally?

By they way…if you want to catch Day 2 of the Family Life Radio Program on Living With Less, you can listen online www.familylife.com.

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5 Responses to Don’t take it personally

  1. Jodi says:

    My three year old is in the phase that she will express that she doesn’t like me. I don’t take offense or get my feelings hurt because I see this as that I am doing my job.

  2. holly murphy says:

    Thanks for the excellent post…I needed it today. I got that message first about 15 years ago when my three month old son decided he wanted daddy not me. Melt down (mine), prayer, and realization that they aren’t ours anyway, but Gods. 15 years later and same son got me again last night…I was having a really bad day with several of the children’s behaviors and finally at bed time had had enough (hubby was out with a few of the kids for a football game so I was doing it all myself). I made an very unkind remark to my daughter referencing her birth mother…My son came in and told me very firmly that negative birthmother comments are off limits at all times no matter what the child does. I cannot possibly understand. Really, who was dealing with all this crazy…Melt down, again, mine. “How many times must I break till I shatter” was the post I made to facebook…I locked myself in the car while my husband put them to bed and cried til there was nothing left. They are not ours…I need to be the adult. I need to remember whose they are. I must remember I get my affirmation from our father…theirs and mine.

  3. Yvonne says:

    Hee hee … yes, we’re at this place too. I was a very (overly?) involved mother in elementary school (scout leader, Sunday school teacher, class mom, etc.) and my 13 year old daughter is at the point where she’d rather I be a “drop and run” kind of parent. I told her that I’d be happy to volunteer or chaperone if she wants me there, but am fine letting others take a turn.

    I’m glad to see her independence!

  4. Treva Buchanan says:

    I’ve noticed my 10 yr old (almost 11) is starting to show her independence. So far I feel like I’ve handled it pretty good (our youngest is 6 yrs old)…I guess my testing will happen when our youngest starts “wanting” her independence. I do know that when my oldest “craves” my attention, I’m learning to cherish it! Thank you for the reminder.

  5. Nichole Webb says:

    This post encourages me to enjoy them while they are young and want to be with me ALL the time! It can be overwhelming the amount of attention they want from me, I wonder if I can ever give them enough, and it’s draining at times, but to think that one day they won’t want all my attention reminds me to enjoy smothering them with it now!