Covid-19 · Fostering · Parenting

Say what you mean

“Don’t turn the frying pan on if it’s going to take you 10 minutes to get your eggs in there!”

These were my words of frustration as I walked into the kitchen to see a smoking frying pan and my Foster Son standing staring off into space as he shook his eggs in a container.

“It hasn’t been 10 minutes.”, was his reply.

As you might imagine this response did not help my frustration!!

Have you ever found yourself saying things in an exaggerated way?

“If you do that one more time you are grounded forever!”

“That is the millionth time I have told you to pick that up!”

“I’m going to have to bring in a back hoe in to clean your room!”

“Why do you ALWAYS…”

“How come you NEVER…”

When we use language like this there is a good chance we need to step back and deal with the underlying reason for our frustration. I don’t want to be derogatory, but I am.

The reality is that our Foster Son does things in the kitchen that cause me stress. If I focus on the egg all over the stove (that I have to clean) and the overheated smoking frying pan I get cranky. And cranky me says things that are meant to be a put down whether I want to admit it or not!

What I could have said was, “Hey, the frying pan is smoking, you need to turn it down a bit and get your eggs in there cooking. “

It is great that he has the confidence now to cook himself breakfast! I am thankful for his growing independence. He isn’t going to get it all right every time! He will need continued coaching as he learns. I need to accept that.

It took time to teach him do the task safely. When I see things starting to slide in his process I react out of a fear that he might do something dangerous (like start the pan on fire). His learning curve has been tough for us to get used to!

I need to recognize that when I exaggerate and he corrects me, he is right!!

We had a great Halloween by the way!

Here’s to a learning process that never ends!

In the midst of the mess


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