The “I hate you!”
From Miss 5.
I had been listening to her use of the word “hate” over the past couple of weeks with growing apprehension and mild distate.
I really do not like the word “hate”. It is just not a nice word. Period.
So this morning we crossed over from mild usage regarding inanimate objects to direct, deliberate usage at a person.
My stance on respect is a strong one; put simply no one disrespects me in my house.
I do not tolerate name calling, tantrums, yelling, swearing or any of their counterparts. There is instant Time Out and removal of priviliges for every infraction.
The acorn never falls far from the tree and my daughter - like her Mumma - responds to strength and thrives through boundaries and responsibility aka she’s a leader (bossyboots) and needs parameters (must hear no often).
When I was in what I affectionately refer to as my Cult Phase (i.e. myriad motivational seminars) I learned about a valuable concept which was referred to as "perturbation”.
Basically, the concept of perturbation is akin to the process coal / carbon undergoes to create diamonds - through applied pressure and time.
Anotherway to look at it is that a mighty oak tree springs from a tiny accorn after pressure, time and nourishment have had their way.
Same with life and people.
Anyone has the capacity to be the wisest among us. The choice to be so is a matter of free will. The rest is experiences - often of increased pressure - over time. With the right nourishment (guidance, discussion and understanding) any person can go through perturbation andgrow into a stronger and wiser being as a result.
The result of pressure, nourishment and time is - of course - wisdom. Anyone can gain knowledge. Wisdom comes from experience.
Hearing the words “I hate you!” on Saturday - right after my house fire incident - initially made my blood boil!
Miss 5 was sternly sent to her room for 5 minutes Time Out while I calmed myself.
It occurred to me there was a great opportunity for some perturbation here - not just a “talk”.
I called her out and she apologised - which I accepted - and she immediately sought a cuddle to console herself.
I said no.
Now, now - hear me out… there was method in my madness, I promise!
Instead of consoling and making it all better for her, I asked her a series of questions.
The questions were designed to help her put together in her mind the course of events which leads to someone not wanting to cuddle or spend time with her.
What needs to happen to turn that situation around?
After a time, she worked out herself that what she said was mean, hurtful and caused Mummy pain.
She worked out that when Mummy is in pain she is not ready to console someone else.
She worked out that her own pain was because of her own actions - and that in hurting another she was forced to deal with her own pain by herself.
She apologised again - which I accepted and thanked her for - however I felt she was old enough to learn the beginnings of the concept of “making amends”.
You know yourself in life that if you really hurt another person you care about - or even one you do not care for - that a mere sorry does not cut it.
Today I felt my Miss 5 was ready for that lesson; ready for a little perturbation or some measured consequences.
About 10 minutes after being told that Mummy’s heart was hurt and sad, she came in asking if she could bring me something to eat.
I thanked her and asked could she draw me a beautiful picture to show me how she really felt about Mummy.
Thirty minutes later she came in carrying a picture covered in coloured hearts and tape.
“The tape is to make the hearts shiny and sparkly like you Mummy.
The red heart is for your favourite slow music.
The green heart is for when we lie on the grasslooking at cloyds together.
The pink heart is all your cuddles.
All the purple hearts are for all the melodies we sing together…”
Moral to The Story?
We live in a world to afraid to dole out consequences for dear it might “damage” or “traumatise” our kids.
A world where new and improved “parenting techniques” are devised by childless psychology professors or professional students.
A world where any kind of perturbation or “tough love” is seen as some kind of child brutality.
In short today’s episode showed me two things…
- It hurts to be told you are hated; no matter by whom, no matter why... and that is okay.
- Children step up when we allow them to, when they have to accept consequences and take responsibility for their choices.
Miss 5 was so happy to show me and explain her “Sorry” drawing to me.
By not giving her measured consequences - the perturbation of not being consoled after inflicting pain - I would have taken away an opportunity for great learning AND a moment of pure joy from her.
I don’t know about you but a little “tough love” seems to go a long way in this house!
Love and hugs!!