Thursday, October 22, 2015

Kids Are Mirrors That Reflect Us

The other day I got really down on myself about how much I was yelling at my triplets.  It seemed like not a day was passing where I wasn’t expressing frustration or anger.  If the constant fighting wasn’t triggering me, it was the way they managed to make a 30 second process take 30 minutes.

Now listen, my kids are really good.  They listen fairly well and are independent, sometimes to a fault.  Graded on a 4-year-old curve, I would say they are pretty great.

But even on vacation I found their gross stalling galling.  During a time I hypothetically am at my most relaxed, I couldn’t handle how something as simple as getting swim trunks on required the intervention of the National Guard.

Thankfully, I was buoyed by others – or enjoyed a bit of schadenfreude at least– when I posted my personal disappointment on a Facebook group for triplet dads.  Turns out, it wasn’t just me.  Lots of Dads felt the same way.

One of them was on a two-day trip to Legoland with the goal of not yelling.  Not once.  Lofty goal.

I'm fully aware parents can and do fail and that its OK. But it got me thinking: could I go two days?  Could I go two whole days without yelling at my triplets, regardless of what they did?

I’ll be honest: I worried I couldn’t.  And I didn’t have Legoland to compete with.

Too much of their behavior annoyed me. The constant badgering on questions they knew the answer to, the giant time sucks they represent, the lollygagging, the need for constant satisfaction. The fighting.

But as I wrote this post I realized something else. Everything that annoys me about my kids is a flaw of my own.

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