Do you remember “sticks and stones may break my bones, names will never hurt me”?
How about, “I’m rubber, you’re glue, everything you say bounces off of me and sticks to you.“
Well, I’m going to take you down a path right now that I probably never go down.
I want you to think about the things kids say.
Recently in my life, my daughter has been on an I-hate-Dad extravaganza.
I can’t figure it out why. Eventually, I’ll put it all in perspective.
She said many things to me like, “you’re not my dad.”
“I hate you.”
“I only want to be with Mommy.”
Now here’s what’s interesting…
And don’t feel bad for me. I’m taking care of it all. But I’m saying this to prove a point. I’m saying this so you have an opportunity to learn and grow from this because what I’m about to tell you, and what I’m about to share with you right now, is something that may change your life forever.
You ever get mad at somebody?
All of the sudden, you’re frustrated, and you start communicating, and talking and the next thing you know, it escalates into a screaming match?
And words just fly out of your mouth?
You might say something to somebody, something mean and nasty?
Could be something like, “what a bitch.”
Or, “you’re the worst person I’ve ever met.”
Or whatever it might be. It might be just a simple “I hate you,” almost the same type of “I-hate-you“ as a six-year-old is using on me right now.
But, here’s the big difference.
All the advice I’ve been getting from everybody is that she doesn’t mean it.
She doesn’t know what she’s saying.
She doesn’t really know what she’s trying to express.
She’s just frustrated right now.
She does not mean it, she’s too little to know what this all means.
You hear so many things like that.
Now, I want you to go back into the world when you’re fighting with somebody, and arguing with somebody, and you’re angry with somebody.
Don’t you say things that you just don’t mean in the heat of the moment. You’re frustrated, you’re annoyed, and you’re pissed off.
And you say things that are just, well, oh so mean.
And yet, as adults, we hold onto those things. We repeat those things to our friends. “He told me I was a bitch!”
I can’t believe you told me that I was this. I can’t believe you told me that I was that.
Kids get a free pass because apparently they don’t know what they’re really saying, but adults, we don’t get a free pass in the heat of the moment. In the frustration of the moment, we don’t get a free pass at all, yet children do all the time.
What about in the heat of the moment, when you’re totally frustrated, you don’t really know how to communicate. What if we all really became just six-year-old kids, ranting and raving and insulting and being angry and mean because we’re so frustrated in life?
What if we were all just six-year-olds in that moment?
What does it mean? What does all this mean?
Honestly, it may just mean absolutely nothing. It may just mean that in the height of frustration, when we’re all physically angry and exhausted and emotionally distraught from battling, or not knowing how to express our feelings, maybe words can’t express everything until we figure it all out.
Maybe we’re all just six-year-olds that hate one another during these moments.
So, my daughter says hates me right now. But I’m trying not to take the words the way they are.
That may be the biggest lesson in all this: when somebody’s frustrated, try not to listen to the words. Try to allow them to express themselves, and realize that maybe they can’t express themselves around you.
Maybe what they say is not exactly what they mean, so try to always get to the meaning, because that’s what I’m trying to do with my kid. Trying to put together the puzzle of all this.
And isn’t life just a puzzle that we all need to figure out?