Making Things Worse
“Mom, you’re not helping.” he cried out in sadness.
“I’m definitely not making things any easier right now.” I said.
I hadn’t, because my child was sad, and lying to himself about why. So, I pulled the real reason out where he had to see it. Which made him even more sad. But if he can see the real source of the sadness, he has the chance to heal from it.
I am helping. Though it doesn’t feel like it. Not to him. Not to me.
One of the hardest parts of parenting is listening to a child cry and knowing that the very best thing I can do is to let that child fully experience and work through the emotions without intervention. My instinct is to soothe, to make it better. Sometimes that is exactly what is needed. Other times it is exactly what is not. I wish the different times came clearly labeled so that I could choose my actions with confidence. Instead it is all stumbling around in the dark and hoping that this space in the underbrush is actually a trail that goes somewhere less dark.
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