A year or so ago we were out and Isaac said really loudly, “Those girls are ugly!”  

I quickly told him to quiet down and looked in the direction he was pointing.  My heart sank.   There were only two girls in that direction, two beautiful black girls.  How was it possible that my son was a racist at three?

Thankfully, my husband was there and before I could open my mouth, he asked, “Why do you think those girls are ugly?”

“They are ugly. They are not talking nice.”

Oh thank God!  It wasn’t their appearance he was critiquing, it was their words and actions.  I listened a bit and they were being really mean to each other.

Recently, we’ve had a case of the “uglies.”  And we’ve referred to them as such.

Isaac been angry often and will ball his fist and yell at us, stomp his feet and throw his toys.   We don’t yell often around the house, so I’ve been trying to figure out where this ugliness has come from.  I’ve spent a lot of time in the last few weeks focusing on how I respond to Isaac.

I’ve realized…

  • far to often, I don’t let Isaac finish his thought before I interrupt him (I usually know where he is going, but how frustrating it must be to never get the chance to state your case.)
  • Isaac is constantly told, don’t do that, settle down, etc, etc.
  • Isaac is going to make mistakes, but he has to feel comfortable enough to make them, it’s the only way he will learn, he can’t be afraid for us to find out.
  • He is told “no” to most of his “plans” or “deals.”

So, I’m trying to work on looking at Isaac and waiting for him to complete his thoughts.  Trying to be understanding and forgiving – looking him in the eye and apologizing when needed and accepting those when he gives them in the same manner instead of dwelling on it.  Poor kid is four and should very well be four.  

He looked at me the other day and said, “I know Mommy.  I’m working on it.  I’m trying to be an adult.”  My heart broke.  Yes, I want him to be respectful and caring and loving, a good friend and helper, but I don’t want him to think he can’t be a kid.  He is a kid and he should be able to act like one.   I’m the one that probably needs to watch how I act and what I say.  He is obviously getting the uglies from somewhere and it just might be me.


2 thoughts on “Ugly

  1. Even though Cari and I are no longer together our different parenting styles really do give the kids a huge landsacep to develop in. I am very structured and focus on tasks, timeframes and rewards for jobs well done (and visa versa). Cari is very free in her parenting style where some of her more “organic” approaches leaves a lot up to the kids to prioritize things on their own. For the most part the kids don’t favor one parent over the other at this point but they are learning the consequences of their decisions from one environment will affect their situation in the other. I can’t say whether this is an effective approach (or if there’s really anyway around it in a separate parent scenario) but they are very dynamic in their approach to their changing environments these days. Maybe, had things been different Cari and I could have leveraged our differences to create a more productive environment for the kids while we were still together.

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