Did you ever notice how when a child doesn’t listen to you, you don’t take it personally? You know it’s just part of children being children and you simply go about finding a way to help them focus their attention and get on board with what you need them to do. But when a parent doesn’t seem to get the message, it can turn into a feeling of personal insult! You think to yourself, “How inconsiderate! They have no respect for my time or my feelings!”
It’s weird almost. Why are our reactions to adults so much different than our reactions to their children under similar circumstances? I was thinking, when little Johnny takes an extra 15 minutes at nap time to finally settle down (cutting into “my quiet time”), it’s just a routine situation to deal with and then it’s forgotten. But when his parent shows up 15 minutes late to pick him up, it’s a major issue that I don’t soon forget! I have all kinds of thoughts about what it means about them, me, and the relationship going forward…
I’ve been asking myself – “what’s the difference here?”, “what’s really going on?”. What I noticed was that in one situation, I feel calm and empowered and in the other I feel powerless and frustrated. What is making that difference in MY experience over the same “lost” 15 minutes?
I have some thoughts about it, but was wondering what yours might be?