Do I have parrots or kids? Wow. It does amaze me how much they hear and then “parrot” back to me. Sometimes I didn’t even know they heard me!
The other night as I was trying to motivate my kids to listen to my directions of putting their pajamas on, the phrase “How many times am I going to have to ask you…? came out of my mouth.” I said it without even realizing it.
As a therapist, I would have told myself that the fact I even uttered those words tells me that I let the boundaries get pushed too far and that I am not detaching emotionally from the situation and getting too caught up in their chaos. Ugh…that is sobering and a smack in the forehead to make sure I practice what I teach my clients.
But the real sobering moment was about 5 minutes later when my 2 year old was screaming for me to help her as she had finished going potty. I was finishing grabbing things from my son’s room, so it took me a little bit to get to her.
When I walked in she said, “How many times do I have to call for you to help me?”
OUCH! I could have melted to the floor. Not only did she use my same words, but she also used my same tone!
Moral of the story is…be careful what you teach them. They ARE listening and they WILL do what you do- Good and Bad.
I’m not mad at myself for this reminder. I use it as a teaching moment to redirect me to a healthier place in my life. I am human. I make mistakes. Now I learn from my mistakes.
I hope you are able to take these teachable moments in stride and use them to better yourself. I know this one will stay with me for years to come and remind what not to do!
Written by Teri Claassen MSW, LCSW, LCAC
Teri Claassen MSW, LCSW, LCAC is a licensed therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. Teri enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, couples and relationship counseling. Teri also does family counseling, child counseling, and adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area, including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Zionsville, and Westfield.