When you ask your kids to do things five times…

I had forgotten how clumsy I can be and how prone to zoning out I am in unfamiliar territory. I’ve found a system that works for me so well and a job that I’m good at so I forgot that much like my son, if I’m not on the right team, I’m terrible at being delegated to. Often I get frustrated with him because I will ask him to get dressed five times before he does it or will point at something across the room for him to grab before we leave the house. Recently I’ve found myself in situations where I’ve been trying to help out with people I’m not used to working with. I’ll be given vague instructions to follow in a routine I’m not familiar with and I’ll do the wrong thing. I’ve just gotten used to my own household, my own job where everything is technical and the instructions are worded so differently. I mean can you imagine if I asked you to do one of the numerous job functions I’ve had over the years in work lingo? “Record the time code and transcribe every 30 seconds.” Some people can’t spell or translate as quickly as I can. My husband is always asking me to spell things for him but when he had to teach me to drive he was very impatient and armes with plenty of eye rolls and exasperated sighs. This is how our kids must feel sometimes when we shout household instructions at them. They live in our houses but they see play spaces, where we see order that we’ve mapped in our layouts. A few times I’ve been asked to hand the person I’m assisting something. I turn around and immediately freeze as my brain tries to focus on one item in my overwhelming surroundings. Frustration ensues from the assisted party and I feel much like in my childhood, clueless, clumsy and a little foolish. It’s like seeing a lion intimidated by the silly little four corners of a chair. The lion is stronger than the chair but the four legs stump him because he doesn’t know which one to focus on. Your kids are little lions, not sure what to do or how they can still exercise their independence while following your chain of command. After going through this again and having felt the familiar  “why can’t I do anything right?” thoughts swirling through my head, I’ve felt guilty for not being patient with my son even if requesting something five times is an awful lot. I’m bound to lose patience and so are you but let’s try to remember they’re ot always doing this to spite us. Try to remember something you’re just not good at, because it’s just not as interesting to you and therefore unfamiliar and sympathize with your kiddos.


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