Listen to your kids… sometimes.

mistakes_madeSo awhile back my son informed me that he had put a rock in his ear. For five months the doctors argued that there was no rock present. Eventually the truth came out… literally. That large pebble he managed to fit into his ear canal finally made its way out. Lesson learned… listen to you kids.

So I’ve been trying to listen to my children and really take into consideration what they are saying. Honestly, it’s amazing. If my son says he knows where something is… he does. If he says he can do something… he can. It’s great. He hasn’t mastered the art of lying yet, so it seems like what he says is always refreshingly true.

So this past weekend we were all riding to the park when we came upon a slight downhill part of the trail. My son rides very confidently and never has any issue on this part of the trail, but this is my daughter’s first time riding the whole way. I insist that everyone stops before we start the downhill portion. I catch up to them while pulling an awkward wagon full of snacks, coats, trucks and a football (seriously I thought as they got older you needed less stuff!?!). Our conversation plays out as follows:

ME: ‘Jocelyn, maybe you should walk your bike.’

JOCELYN: ‘I’m a big girl. I can do it. I can ride like James.’

ME: ‘Are you sure you know how to use the brakes?’

JOCELYN: ‘Yes. See… I can do it.’ (she shows me how to put the brakes on)

ME: ‘Okay… but put your brakes on when you get to the bottom of the hill.’

JOCELYN : ‘I will. Let’s go James.’

And off they go. James brakes the whole way down. Jocelyn however flies at the speed of light with sparks flying up behind her tires. Oh no. She’s not braking. Even worse… if she flies through the bush far enough there is a small creek ahead. ‘BRAKE JOCELYN! BRAKE!!’ I run after her with the ridiculous wagon banging against my heels as I try to catch up to them. She jumps off and her bike goes flying into the bush. My son says, ‘Mom, I don’t think she knows how to brake.’

I reach her in a matter of seconds. She gets up and says, ‘Did you see that? I jumped off just like you taught me.’ We’ve always told the kids that if they are in trouble while tobogganing its very important that they ‘jump off’ before they hit anything. With my heart still pounding I demand, ‘I thought you knew how to brake?’ Her response, ‘I do know how to brake… just not when I’m going down a hill.’

So, I had beaten myself up because I hadn’t listened to my son when he told me about the rock in his ear. Now, I will criticize my own parenting decisions for listening to my daughter about her riding abilities. The fact is, I don’t know what I’m doing… I’m still trying to figure this whole parenting thing out. Sometimes I’m right and often I get it wrong. It’s okay to make mistakes but if we beat ourselves up about it, we’ll miss out on some of the best moments with our kids. I’m so relieved that my daughter didn’t go flying through the bush and into a shallow creek of mud and marshland. And next time, I’ll probably not listen to my daughters promise to ‘brake’. But at the end of the day, every decision we make isn’t going to be the right one, and the best thing to do is learn from our wrong decisions. Tell another mom… it’s okay to make mistakes. If you always get it right it must mean you are the perfect mother. That’s an awfully hard title to live up to.

Comments

Listen to your kids… sometimes. — 5 Comments

  1. I have two and I have no idea what I am doing either 🙂

    Stopping by today from Bloggy Moms Christian Bloggers group. I am glad I found your site. Love this post. I wrote a parenting post today too. This is such a hard job!

    • Thanks so much for stopping by. Being a mom is a very hard job, I will for sure check out your parenting post!

  2. Glad she is OK! I love the part about listening to your kids. I don’t do that often enough. This weekend, we spent it with just our kids and us and opted out of family get togethers. It was so amazing. Just to have some time to really listen to them, and hear what they say was so fun. Great post!

    • Yes, glad she is okay. Not sure if I could have handled another broken bone. We too enjoyed some quality family time… it was awesome.