A New Beginning

I thought I would not write this blog again.

When DW had returned from her business trip, I thought everything would go smooth then.

But since then, DS just screamed whenever her mom was going out to work, or had gone to the toilet for a few minutes.

At first, I thought I could readily redirect his anxious feelings, like what I had successfully done previously.

But this time, I found that I was losing my patience and tolerance.

That evening, DW after work went to the washroom for a quick shower. DS screamed the fourth time on the same day.

I could feel the muscles in my neck tighten, my ears burning, my voice trembling.

I lost it. I started to scream too and shout at him.

I continued to yell for a whole week, whenever and wherever DS was crying, whether it was 9:00 am in the middle morning, 2:30 pm in the afternoon, 8:00 pm in the evening, or 3:00 am in the early morning.

When DS had finally gone tired and slept, sometimes I sat down and wanted to cry.

I felt embarrassed, frustrated and guilty.

I had promised myself I would be a "different" kind of father: "I was supposed to stay 'cool', at all times". What had I done?

I failed to realize that, I was denying myself.

I forgot that the driving force behind my achievement motivations, the force that has constituted the enthusiastic and committed person (IMHO) I am, is my equally-strong passions.

I would not be able to teach my son to understand and live comfortably with the richness and deepness of his emotional life when he has grown up, if I had let my own intensity take control of myself.

So before I could help DS manage the power of his spirits, I have to manage mine first. This means I have to be aware of my reactions, feel comfortable with them, be accepting, non-judgemental and forgiving and learn to let go.

And sometimes, I need to stop and take a deep breath, even step away for a while, and examine my self-talks before these moral imperatives (shoulds) turn to destructive self-fulfilling prophecies.

Then one month has passed. I have not shouted again, perhaps only once. DS is still an lovely vivid expressive child, but he has also become more cooperative when his father has learned to attentively listen to the feelings of both and made appropriate responses, though not every time.

We have just lived the happiest month.

I am delighted to report that I think I have really made a difference this time, though there is still a long way for me to learn.

So this blog continues....


starlightfish said...

Gullit, this article touches me so much. You're such a caring, sensitive and self-reflective father. This is a great gift to your child! Keep on doing what you believe. There may be times of frustration, but everything will be worthwhile.

starlightfish said...

hahaha, have forgotten to tell you who i am...wish to read more articles by you! (from maria)

Franklen Choi said...

Thanks a lot, Maria! You cook good food and your photos are superb!

I am now busying in finishing my thesis, so have to stop writing the blog for a while....In fact, I've already had a dozen article-titles in my mind!

Kelly B said...

Franklen, this post is so appropriate to me right now. Thank you for writing it. Very wise words. Rubyrose (from the BLW forum)

Franklen Choi said...

Thanks Rubyrose and terribly sorry for late reply!!!!!