My son just turned three and a half years old yesterday. I can’t say enough about the guy. He’s bright, got a sunny disposition and a laugh that could melt the Antarctic. Every day, I thank God for my precious gift.
I love watching him develop and learn new skills as he figures out the world and his place in it. It’s the coolest thing when something is there today that wasn’t there yesterday. And that new concept is… jealousy.
My son and I were hanging out in the kitchen yesterday morning. My husband comes down the stairs into the living room. He says good morning, and I go over to give him a hug and kiss. Our usually happy-go-lucky son hops down off the stool and says, “No, Baba, (that’s Turkish for Daddy), that’s MY Mommish!” (That’s our son’s Turklish pet name for me.)
I instantly said to my boy, “Oh, sweetie, there’s enough love for everybody!” We then made a counting game of me kissing my son ten times, and then I kissed my husband ten times. And so on until we ended in a three-way hug.
I totally can see why my son was upset. We are constantly teaching him to share… because most times, the set item has a finite supply and anything he takes means that someone else will have to do without. It is totally understandable to apply the same logic to kisses: if I give ten kisses to my husband, that leaves ten fewer for my son, right???
So we had to show our son that there will never be an end to kisses. They are not like toys at the YMCA playground or animal crackers at snack time. It’s not a game to compete for the limited supply.
Now, can you imagine if I shamed him by reprimanding his behavior? That he shouldn’t WANT my love? If I had pushed him away to keep hugging my husband, that would have taught my son that my love IS a thing to compete for and covet. No child should be made to feel guilty for wanting their parents’ love. It would have caused him anxiety and rightfully so. Love should never be contest.
So next time one of your children is competing for your attention (which is really your affection), explain to them that the best way to give everybody what they want is to all pile together and get it done!
Feeling pulled in different directions? If everybody folds the laundry together, then there’s more time freed up to work on homework, together, at the same table.
It’s just like architecture: the more (tri)angles there are, the stronger the structure. So the more people sharing the love, the more triangles can be formed, thereby strengthening the love!
So make the 153Promise to show the regenerating power of your love! Supplies unlimited: Act Now!