The other day I had a wake-up call, reminding me that my son was, in fact, not perfect.
Certainly I know that. But I have to admit, it stung a bit more hearing it from his teachers.
My son was playing superheroes at school when he did something decidedly NOT heroic.
He and two others – in their imaginative world filled with Spiderman, Ironman and
Captain America – made another little boy cry.
As I understand it, they were attempting to rid the world of villains, spraying their
classmate with pretend webs and lasers.
Cries went unnoticed. The boys did not relent until a teacher intervened.
I felt like I’d been punched myself! How could my sweet, little guy have been so hurtful?
And did this mean my son was a bully? I tried to explain superheroes HELP people who
are crying, they don’t hurt them. I’m not sure it sunk in.
“Your son didn’t go from being a sweet little boy into a hoodlum overnight,” points
out Dr. Wendy Mogel, internationally known clinical psychologist and author of the
New York Times bestselling parenting book, The Blessings of a Skinned Knee.
“We jump so fast to the goriest conclusions – beloved child one day; next day, monster!
But that’s not how it works,” Dr. Mogel assured me. “There is plenty to learn in
She suggests instead of harping on my disappointment, I approach my son like this:
“Oh! This is a puzzle. What do you think happened? How do you think that little boy felt?
And why do you think he was crying?”
Dr. Mogel points out getting him to answer those questions is a pivotal step in growing up.
The goal isn’t to shame him, but to get him to understand empathy, what it feels like
to be in someone else’s shoes. It’s a lesson that might not have happened had he not
stumbled into it himself.
And just like that, I saw the blessing of a bruised ego, for both mom and son.
Do you have questions for Dr. Wendy Mogel? Email us, and we’ll make sure she gets them. Hartford Hospital is sponsoring the 3rd annual Parenting Conference at the Mandell JCC on Sunday, April 10th at 10:15 am. Dr. Wendy Mogel, bestselling author of The Blessing of a Skinned Knee and The Blessing of a B Minus, is the featured speaker and will address the challenges of raising self-reliant, optimistic children and teens in today’s world.
Mommyhood’s own Rebecca Stewart will be moderating the Q & A session and we want to know your questions!
Join us for a morning with one of this generation’s most sought-after and passionate parenting experts. For tickets, check out the Mandell JCC or call 860-231-6342.