My son pooped in the bathtub today!
I walked into the bathroom to check on him during his bath thinking that I would help him wash up and finish up the bath. My first clue that things were amiss was the wet toilet paper mass stretching from the bathtub to the toilet. At the sight, my toes curled, my heart started racing and the urge to scream, "WHAT IS GOING ON IN HERE!!!!!!" rose quickly to the surface.
An "Oh Quinn, what happened?" passed my lips and he looked up at me with eyes that pleaded to see him and not the mess around him. It caused me to stop and step back for a moment from the situation. As much as I wanted to yell and scream at the disgusting mess I now had the privilege of cleaning up, if I looked closely I saw a boy who knew he had made a mistake. I could yell about the poop and toilet paper and feed the shame and guilt he already or I could focus on him and build our relationship.
We spent the next 20 minutes straining toilet paper and other foreign objects out of the bathtub. As we worked together we talked about how no matter the mistake, he could always come to me without fear of my anger. Sometimes there will be a consequence for his decision that he may not like. But my relationship with him and with his brother Zane is more important than the message my yelling and screaming may communicate.
Building relationship rather than reacting to the moment is a work in progress for me. As some of you may remember, I confessed to slamming the brakes and yelling at my kids a few weeks ago. My son is 4 years old right now but in a blink of an eye he will be 14 and the mistakes he encounters will be much bigger than pooping in the bathtub.
I am challenged right now by the thought that...
how I respond right now is building the foundation for our future relationship.
Hannah is a PCI Certified Parent Coach® and owner of Foundations Parent and Life Coaching. She is passionate about working with parents and individuals who want to build the foundation for a thriving life.