Things I’d Like my Son to Know

Lesson #6- be kind to yourself. Be kind to others.

I was watching an elderly lady who sat down to have a cup of tea today at a coffee shop.. she was by herself and had a walking stick.

I saw another elderly lady, who was sat watching this same old lady. Dressed really well, taken good care of herself and I thought to myself, “I wonder what she’s Thinking?” Continue reading

Things I’d Like my Son to Know 

Lesson #4 – Make it Better. 

As he scratched my cheek one morning, Sid saw that it was red and grazed. He asked me “Daddy, have you got aowee?” I said “yes son, you scratched me, remember”. 

He followed with, “daddy, shall I make it better?” And then kissed it and blew away the pain. 

He does the same with his toys. If he sees a toy broken. He either tries to fix it, or he will tell me to fix it. 

To him, right now, everything in this world is fixable. 

Son, almost everything you see in the world appears to be disposable. Phones, dishes, cars, clothes, everything. 

There was a time that people would fix, rather than buy or replace. But the world seems to have changed. 

And we have applied the same rule to people that we have to things. If they’re broken, rather than try and help fix them, we replace them. If a relationship has soured, throw it away and find a new one. If friends let us down, we act out on social media to find new ones rather than understand why they let us down. 

Just as you, at this really young age of 2, understand that my pain (which by the way, you caused) could be made to to go away with some effort by yourself, always remember that everything can be fixed with effort. 

Make things better. Apply it to your consumables, your toys, your furniture, your microwave, your TV. 

But most importantly, apply it to your relationships. If you do anything that hurts someone, or see someone in pain, try and make it better for them. Treat the symptom, but try and get to the root of the pain and help deal with it. 

There is a lot to gain in this world when repairing relationships. It builds trust, communcation, love and appreciation. 

Take time in these things, they will put you in good stead for life. 

Things I’d Like my Son to Know 

Lesson #3 – love your parents. Your first teachers. 

As I disciplined Sid following a Weetabix incident (all over the breakfast table) I got the whole “I dont love you daddy”, followed by 2 verses of “I’m not your friend, I don’t like you anymore”.

At this point I realised I have a 12 year old living with us, and I had fast-forwarded 10 years.

Oh crap, here come the teenage hormones.

I began to realise that unconditional love from a parent, as natural as it is, and as pure as it is, isn’t always reciprocated.

Sid is lucky.

He has two parents that love him.  Not all kids are that lucky.

I think to myself, as parents, we try to nurture, guide, encourage our kids to be the best version of themselves.  To think for themselves, to be compassionate, kind, generous, and big hearted.

That teaching isn’t always met with applaud from your kid!

I learnt a lot from my parents.  Resilience, grit, knowing that silence often ends an argument quicker than sound.

Also that the love of parents is beautiful.  Untainted.  Pure.

Son, you will have many teachers in your life.  Your friends, your school teachers, your spiritual teachers and peers.

Remember your first teachers.  Your parents.

I hope that we teach you that kindness is a necessity in this world, not a luxury.  This world needs it more than ever.

I hope that we teach you that compassion is the key to an enlarged life.  Being there for others doesn’t detract from your time or your “busy schedule”, but it adds value to it.

I hope that we teach you that remembering that everything we do, we do for you.  We will try to be the best examples of joy, fun, kindness, compassion, empathy, spirituality. Everything we do, we do out of love for you.

You will completely understand it when you have your own.

The well placed F-Bomb.

So I’m not a huge fan of foul language, (in front of children), but sometimes the little things can really annoy the sht out of you at times. One such time was a couple of nights ago when my phone decided to play silly buggers and not connect to the Wi-Fi at home. The story of what happens next will crack you up…

Its late in the evening, and I’m about to take my son for his bath.  I decide that some music is in order because, well why not, and go to get my phone from the kitchen where it was sat charging.  I had left it for about 40 minutes or so, and it had only picked up about 10% charge which was infuriating, as Sid’s bath would take at least 8% of the charge.

Anyway I realise that it is also not connected to the Wi-Fi and so I turn the Wi-Fi on on the phone, and wait.  And wait.  And wait.

By this time I’m seriously hacked off and under my breath, seeing that my son is now buzzing around me I mutter “why the fk isn’t the phone connecting to the Wi-Fi?!?!?!”. He was about a metre away from me and I immediately realised I had said those magic words a little too loudly.  He suddenly stopped what he was doing, stared me right in the eye and said “Daddy don’t say that. Don’t say fk. It’s not nice to say it. Instead say .. Hmm (looks at his book of planes) instead say helicopter.”

I was both amazed and mortified at the same time.

I wanted to swing my genius son around and at the same time cut off my tongue for using such profane language in front of my angel with horns child.

There was an itching curiosity within me as I rested that evening.

How did my son, my 2 year old, whom we never swear in front of, know that fk is such a bad swear word?  No-one told him, and certainly not me.  I wondered – did my son realise that my frustration, linked to the extremely well placed F-Bomb meant that the word I used was a naughty word?  Or has someone secretly been teaching my son things to just wind me up?

I did a very crude experiment with him the next morning.  I pretended to get really angry and shouted out “What the chin!?!?!” – and lo and behold – he stopped what he was doing (eating) and said – “Daddy – don’t say Chin.  It’s not nice”.

Could it be that children are that more sensitive to the way we say things compared to what we say?

If it is so, then it is both sentiment, emotion, AND language that has an impact on a child.

This relates quite nicely to what we hear about communication and arguments – most of the time arguments occur not be cause of what we say – but because of how we say it.

It seems like this is not a learned construct – It’s almost innate and we know what this “feeling” of negativity is, from a very young age.

If there’s anything I have learnt from this experience, that is to never underestimate 2 things.

  1. The value of a well placed F-Bomb
  2. The ability of your child at such a young age to pick up on emotion, more than the words.