She wasn’t trying to be rude. She was just stating an opinion. But it still hurt.
I made a chicken casserole for dinner, a recipe I got from my sister, who had cooked it for my family a couple times. Since my kids loved it, I decided to make it at home. I don’t recall what I did differently that made my daughter unhappy, but she decided it wasn’t nearly as tasty as the casserole my sister had made, and she told us all.
Her hasty words stung.
After a quick argument in my head, I smiled at my child. I realized I had a choice; I could be upset, or I could let it roll off my shoulders. So I agreed with her. “Yup, you’re right. But I still make the best manicotti.”
As a mom, there will be times when our children hurt our feelings. Sometimes the situation is a little more complicated than a comment at dinner. Maybe your children have a favorite parent, and it’s not you. Maybe they don’t like the way you dress or style your hair. Maybe they complain often about not getting toys they want. Maybe they refuse to forgive you for a mistake you made.
Whether big or small, offense will happen.
Here are some tips when your child hurts your feelings.
1) Stay calm – Don’t respond with emotion. Exercise some self-control and refuse to respond with irritation or a snappy come-back. How you react will teach your child how to handle confrontation.
2) Remember the truth – Your child loves you and has expressed it in many ways. Doesn’t that trump anything negative they occasionally say about you?
3) Keep Perspective – Children make mistakes. They typically don’t express themselves appropriately, and it takes parents years to guide them. It’s our job to teach them what they should or should not say.
4) Assess the entire situation – When we’ve had a bad day, we become more sensitive. Is your child cranky from skipping his nap, or late getting his dinner? Did you get into trouble at work, fight with a friend, miss an appointment? The chances of a peaceful encounter with your child can be quickly diminished by other factors.
5) Decide how to respond – Small offenses, such as the story above, can be easily overlooked. Larger offenses or repetitive comments will need correction, whether immediate or postponed to a time when your temper has cooled and you can talk in private with your child.
6) Be honest when you talk with your child – Kids tend to be narrow minded, so share your perspective. Explain how you were hurt and that you would appreciate more respect in the future.
What are some ways you have overcome hurt feelings?