Thursday, March 23, 2006

I Didn't Say I Told You So

Sometimes I'm convinced that my biggest fault as a parent is that I talk a whole lot more than I listen. When the children are very small, and they don't talk much yet, that is perfectly understandable. But, mine are getting bigger (9 and 6) and they do have things to say.

So, sometimes I lecture when I should be listening. I try to remember to keep my mouth shut and hear what they have to say - but sometimes the lecture is just right there and so obvious it's hard to not say it.

Today, the children were playing a game of blowing up balloons as big as they could and then letting them go and watching them careen around the room.

I warned that if you blow up a balloon too big it could pop. One warning. That was all I gave. Just imparted the information.

Well, later, when darling daughter was supposed to be working on homework, but she had to get just one more balloon race in there, I heard the loud POP.

She was okay, but devastated. She had really liked that balloon.

I could have said, "I warned you that if you blew a balloon up too big it could pop." But, what would be the point? I knew I had warned her, I'm sure she remembered I had warned her. And now she was sad about losing the balloon.

So, I listened to her tell me why she had liked the balloon so much, and why she was so sad it had popped. And I didn't say anything. I didn't need to.

And I especially didn't say "I told you so."

I'm very proud of myself.

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