Thursday, October 6, 2011

This Hurts Me More Than It Hurts You

This hurts me more than it hurts you.

How many times did I hear this growing up?  How many times did I think “yeah, right?” 

And now, one of the “things I will never say to my children” is a well-worn standard.

Along with that other “things I will never say to my children” standard, “because I said so.”  But that’s another entry for another day.

Consequences are tough.  Especially when you have a repeat offender.  Especially when you thought you’d put the offending behavior behind you, because you thought a lesson had been learned.  And perspective and maturity had been gained.  

In this case, the offense is netting the child a week without friends, video games, TV, or anything other than already scheduled activities.  This includes sacrificing a much-anticipated birthday party this weekend.

Ouch.  That hurt just writing it.  But, there comes a time when you have to make it hurt, in order to nip it in the bud, to coin one of my mother’s famous expressions.  Still, the tears…it’s those tears that come from a place of true sadness and shame, tears from deep within that you can’t control no matter how much you try to be stoic and so grown up…those are the ones that get me.  And those are the ones I’m anticipating.

And that’s why, as a parent, you know that it does hurt you more than it hurts them.  WAY more.  Because they may be feeling hurt, but you’re feeling their hurt tenfold.  Because their broken heart is your shattered one.  Because their wounded ego is your crushed spirit.  Because you are connected to them in mysterious ways you never anticipated.  You'd sacrifice yourself to pain ten times over if it meant they never had to feel it.  

But, the pain is part of the process.  And while it's one of the hardest things we, as parents, have to endure, it's also the best gift we can give...the understanding that actions have consequences.  

No matter how much it hurts.  

   

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