An Open Letter to My Son, Saying "I Get It"

My dear little love,

You are so precious to me and I enjoy watching you grow more and more into a little man each day. Whether I was ready for it or not, you are now three and a half, and I can really see how you love your independence, now that you are more confident and capable to do things pretty much on your own.

You love to use the potty all by yourself (and unravel the toilet paper down to the cardboard roll), you put your shoes on without my help (though sometimes you ask to check if they are on the correct feet), and you have such a love for life (which is so contagious - never stop laughing).

But with this big-boy stage in your life, there are other aspects which are too much to handle on your own. Sometimes, those big emotions, such as anger, sadness, and frustration, hit you like a wave when the world is not going your way.

You just want to go outside without a coat, but it is way too chilly.

You wanted the same amount of cereal in your bowl as your brother, but it seems like his bowl has more in it.

The pajamas you want to wear needed to be washed after wearing them too many nights in a row.

I get it - it is hard when we can’t have what we want. I feel just as frustrated as you are acting right now when I am stuck in a long line at the grocery store or my clothes do not fit me the way I want. These big emotions can hit us completely out of the blue and send us for a wild ride of tantrum chaos.

But sometimes I expect you to act more mature.

I want to take more time to see the world from your shoes, rather than making you see things from my point of view. I have had more time to learn how to handle these big feelings. It is too much to demand that you act with a 30-year old maturity level when you only have had 3 years of experience in this world.

Sometimes I get frustrated that you completely “lose it” when the world isn’t going your way. But I know your brain is still growing. Instead of becoming annoyed or even acting like a 3-year-old-in-tantrum myself, I want to see these moments as opportunities. It is a chance for me to let you know it is ok to have feelings, and that your feelings matter - even if we cannot go outside without wearing a coat. These temper tantrums are opportunities to teach you how to handle those big feelings.

If I could change my perspective, then it would benefit us both. You don’t have to do it on your own. I am on your team and we can work through these things together.



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