I only have one child, so you would think that I don't have deal with jealousy issues.
Well, somehow my son managed to be jealous to his father, cousins, random adults and even the phone.
Just when I would be talking in the phone, in the middle of the conversation, he would come to me to ask something.
Nothing really important, just some random fact or piece of information he supposedly needed just now.
Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.
Or he would be shouting mom, I need help. I need a sandwich. I want you to see this, just about anything urgent, according to him.
The situation would escalate to me yelling at him to be quiet while I talked on the phone and him yelling me back or crying his eyes out because I was a bad mother.
He would actually say that to me, you are a bad mother, he would scream me.
Let me tell you that it can break your heart hear your six year old son, sobbing his heart out and telling you that you are a bad mother.
|Deuteronomy 6:7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.|
Other moms would tell me that it would pass.
That their children would do it also.
That it was normal and he just wanted the attention.
I knew he wanted the attention.
But what I didn’t know was, how to give him a feeling that I was there for him but that at that moment I had to attend to someone else.
How to teach him to be considerate, to see things from other person’s point of view, without a sibling?
Finally I had to sit down and pray.
The situation was out of hand.
I was going against my principles.
I was shouting at my son, getting angry at him.
And he was interpreting it as I didn’t love him, that he didn’t matter enough to me to leave the phone or the other person and give him my attention.
He wanted to be the center of my attention.
But he was at an age that he needed to learn to wait his turn.
I had been practicing a stern look with him.
I have always loved Mary Poppins movies and movies and books about nannies and how they would just look someone and they’d be quiet at once.
I thought that was phenomenal.
I didn’t want my son to be afraid of me and calm down because of that.
But I wanted to give him a bodily sign that what he was doing was incorrect; instead of trying to yell harder than he was shouting.
So, I tried the same thing with the phone.
|A wise person truly said, “It ought to be as impossible to forget that there is a Christian in the house as it is to forget that there is a ten-year-old boy in it.” ~ Roger J. Squire|
I would raise my hand, sort of talk to the hand gesture, combined with the stern look.
Besides this I had a talk with him where I explained that it was impolite of him to interrupt when I was talking with other people or on the phone.
I explained that he was the most important thing for me but he needed to wait his turn.
Then I promised to give him my full attention.
When I was a child, I remember how disappointed I was when my parents wouldn’t keep their promises, no matter how tiny things they were.
Matthew 7:12 “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.
This is why I have an absolute, if you give a promise you must keep it, no matter the cost policy.
I never want my son to lose his confidence in me.
If I promise something, I’ll keep it, period.
So, every time, he would stand there.
Looking at me with his big eyes, his lips trembling, sometimes his whole body trembling with the energy charge.
Sometimes he would start talking and I would give him another look.
And when I ended the phone conversation my time would be just for him.
It was hard, for us both.
But what I learned is that the most precious thing for my son was my time and attention.
That was what he craved for and that was all that he wanted.
Maybe it was a minute that he would invent something he supposed came to tell me and run back outside to play.
Maybe it would be five minutes to make him a sandwich and watch him eat it.
Maybe it would take half an hour of reading with him or sitting next to him while he watched the TV.
Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.
But if I gave him the time when he asked, he would be perfectly happy to continue without me.
Now he’s bigger and he doesn’t ask my time and attention the same way.
And to tell the truth, it makes me sad.
He’s almost ten, so it’s time he learns to be more independent, to do more things by himself, to not to depend on me.
But being the most important person for your child is something precious.
Something that nothing else can replace.
And I miss it. I miss my baby.