I have been struggling with the behavior of one of my sons for some time now. He is difficult, does things half way, bothers his siblings, is disrespectful, etc. I have tried different approaches to discipline, different ways of talking with him, increasing one on one time with him, and the effects of all of these are minimal at best.
I was discussing this with my wife the other night, and when I woke up the next morning, she had texted me a link to this article. It’s a good read for all parents, and I won’t rehash what was said here. But, it sparked in me a notion that I can’t shake, perhaps the problem lies with me.
I don’t mean to say that my son’s behavior is my fault, it’s not. I also don’t mean that my son doesn’t have bad behavior, he certainly does. But, perhaps the way I look at the situation, the way I approach him, my whole way of thinking about this issue is a part of the problem.
Could it be that I need to change the way I see my son? Instead of seeing a discipline problem could I see an opportunity to teach him? Instead of getting angry at him is there another response, a better response? Could the abundance of energy that undoubtedly causes a lot of these issues be a good thing that could be redirected if we just find the right place to direct it?
So, perhaps the problem (or part of the problem) lies with me. My perspective can be better. I can choose to see the virtues of his character over the obstacles in it. I can choose to reshape myself and my point of view to adapt to the person that my son is rather than demanding that he adapt to who I am. I can let go of my frustrations when things don’t go the way I plan and see the opportunity to foster growth in another person.
And, this is not only true with my son, but with so many other things as well. I can improve my perspective in many places.
The next time things are going wrong and everything is frustrating and bleak, the first thing I will ask myself is, “perhaps the problem lies with me?” I will assess my issues, my baggage, my insecurities. I will move forward from there with a fuller knowledge of what is really happening and a shot at a better outcome.