In online class today, Kyle had a literacy practice sheet, which he thankfully focused on and answered properly. But right after a short break, they had a math test that he scribbled almost illegible numbers on with his head on the desk. I had to remind him several times to sit properly and focus. I even tried to motivate (i.e. bribe) him with a small stuffed toy if he does well. But after answering one question, he would refuse to answer the next one.
“It’s too hard, mom!”
“I know you can do it, because you’ve done it so many times and gotten the right answer. I think you just don’t want to try.”
“No, I don’t know it. It’s true!”
He then pouted his lips and squeezed his eyes, trying to force imaginary tears that wouldn’t come out.
“You know love, it’s okay to cry if you really feel like crying. But if you’re forcing yourself to cry, it’s not good for you.”
I was trying to make sure he wouldn’t miss any items on his test, because he has a deal with his dad and really wants to “win” a PS4 by working hard in school. He knows how to subtract- he just doesn’t like writing down the solution. I was trying to console him while checking our dinner, so when my husband wanted to turn off the stove I was pre-heating because he thought I had accidentally left it on, I snapped.
“Mom, remember what you asked me earlier today?”
I honestly couldn’t remember, and he kept giving me cryptic clues that I couldn’t figure out. Finally, he typed this on the computer:
“Kyle, what makes you feel the most loved?” Then he made an X sign with his fingers on the word “most.”
This morning, I asked him that because I wanted to talk about our love languages.
“Are you saying you don’t feel that mommy loves you right now?”
I hugged him and felt guilty, but also recognized the emotional blackmail.😅
“You know, love is not always something you feel. If you’re doing something wrong, like acting lazy, I will push you to do better. Even if you end up not liking me, it’s okay. What’s important to me is that you grow up to be the best person that you can be. You told me that you feel most loved when mommy and daddy tell you we love you, right? So always remember that even if it doesn’t feel that way, mommy always loves you. Believe what I say.”
“Okay, mom. I feel better now.”
He stayed after class with teacher to finish the test. Afterwards, we talked about it.
“I’m sorry for getting angry. It’s not so important to me that you get all the answers right. What’s more important for me is that you try your best. If you do that and still get a lot of wrong answers, it’s okay. I’ll still be proud of you. I’ll help you fix it so you can do better next time. But if you don’t try your best, I’ll be disappointed. Were you trying your best?”
“No mom, I was being a bit lazy.”
“It’s good that you know, because knowing is half the battle! Now all you have to do is fix it.”
“Okay, so it’s: K=Know, F=Fix. What’s C?”
“Hmm. How about… conquer?”
“Okay, so that’s K.. F.. C!!”
Happy Valentine’s day to all.❤️