“Mommy, stop – it’s embarrasing” said my 6yo daughter.
Curious and shocked, I asked “huh? Why and how is it embarrassing?” I was genuinely in awe because all I remember saying was “see you can do it, I told you so!” Back story: She had a hard time getting her bike out because our car was parked in the garage and there was not much space to move around. Monica probably got so stressed in carefully moving the bike so as not to scratch the car.
So going back; she then explained that it made her feel embarrassed and it did not feel good at all. “It’s embarrassing whenever you tell me “i told you so” because it’s like I am always wrong and you are right.”
Thoughts kept coming to my mind — those many, many times that I teased her whenever she disses food she has not tried yet only to love it after I insist for her to taste. And then I will remark “i told you!”
All along I thought I was just teasing her. Little did I know, it created an emotion within her.
So I apologized in passing and just let her ride the bike. Business as usual, dinner, play, shower, read, lambing.
We usually have sweet and deep convos while hugging before I put her to sleep. I saw the perfect opportunity to talk to her about the “embarrassment” incident.
I let her talk and share, explain and dig more. She doesnt feel comfortable whenever I make her try some food and then rub it to her face whenever she changes her mind and love the food instead. And I would keep saying “see haha i told you it’s yummy”. She felt like she was never right and I always make her feel that way.
While listening, all I could tell myself was “oh no, I was becoming a bully to my own daughter even though I never really meant it to be that way.” I was just being playful when I tease her.
Soon after, I hugged her tightly and I explained my side. “Mommy never intended for you to feel that way. I did not mean to hurt your feelings or embarrass you. It was not my intention. I was wrong for teasing you all the time. I am so sorry anak. I won’t do it again.”
“It’s okay mommy. You can still be playful, but only when I am in a super duper happy mood. Like we can play our game of you making me smile and I will try not to.”
I kept apologizing as I felt really guilty. “When you are ready and okay, please accept my apology. But if not, it’s okay, I will wait. Thank you for telling me what’s on your mind and how you are really feeling.”
“I accept your apology mommy. I love you.” And the we hugged and she fell asleep.
Oh wow what a conversation with a 6-yo. What a humbling experience for me as a parent. Sometimes, as an adult, we really think we are always right and that our ways should be followed most of the time. Sometimes we forget that children have feelings and minds of their own.
And this incident put a stop to all those “i am the adult so…” moments. And just because it’s funny or light for me does not mean it is for others. Sounds like another golden rule in life in general, right?
Haaaay I learn so much from Monica.
Maybe tomorrow she can read this blog, so hello anak. I love you always. Thanks for our talk. Love, Mommy.