“Mom, I Lost My Jacket”

“Mom, I lost my jacket,” my almost 12 year old son told me.

“What? Grandma just gave that to you last week,” I accusingly replied.  “Where did you last wear it?  Have you looked in your room?” “How could you have lost it?”  I ranted on.

Then I caught myself.  Whose problem is this?  What happened to my empathy?  I tried to recover my Love and Logic senses and said,  “So that’s pretty sad – losing your jacket so soon.  What are you going to do about it?”  But it was too late, my son had switched off his thinking mode since I had clearly taken over. He simply replied, “Nothing.”

I reflected on my missed opportunity.  I could have used empathy and hugged my son with a big “This is so sad, you loved that jacket from Grandma. I could have helped him solve his own problem by asking, “What are you going to do about it?”  Then we could have grabbed a hot cup of cocoa and brainstormed together ideas for him to look for his jacket.  We could have had a special mother-son bonding time working together to solve his problem.

So instead of beating myself up, I decided that in parenting, if we take the time to reflect on our mistakes, we are more prepared for the next time – and in parenting, there are lots of next times! And, since he did find his jacket, he’ll probably misplace it again and this time I’ll be ready for it.

Kerry's Weekly Parenting Newsletter

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