OMG you guys, the worst possible thing on the planet happened last night. The unthinkable. It’s so awful I can barely tell you about it! The beloved iPad accidentally slipped from it’s location (on top of the refrigerator) to it’s untimely demise – the tile kitchen floor – landing on it’s face, and cracking it’s surface into an intricate web. Please bow your head for a moment of silence while we mourn this tragedy.
I’ll be hanging out right here in silent celebration – saying a short prayer that it happens to all of the tablets in the house. (did I just say that out loud?)
You can only imagine the amount of tears that were shed last night! The self inflicted blame by our oldest, Wyatt (who was the one reaching for the iPad at the time), the horror! The questions by our youngest, Elias about which iPad it was (mine?), yes Elias, it’s the one you use, which is REALLY Mommy’s, but I haven’t touched it in months, so I guess you can claim it as your own at this point. Will it work? Can it be fixed? Is Wyatt in trouble? Why is he crying? Now imagine this reel of questions being repeated over and over and over in a cute and sometimes annoying four year old voice all while Wyatt is torturing himself for being the one to cause the mishap.
Cut to Will getting the vacuum out to make sure there was no glass on the kitchen floor, Wyatt running downstairs (did I mention the crying and self deprecation that was happening) to hide and brood alone in his room, Elias asking multiple questions at once and me being the calm one….wait, what? Is it possible that I was the one exhibiting calm? Why yes, it was. I simply said in an even, clear voice “ok, well…accidents happen, this is NOT the worst thing in the world, no on is in trouble.” (as Wyatt repeatedly sobs “I”M SO DEAD” over and over). And – I didn’t even go get a drink to calm my nerves. I simply handled it.
Here’s the thing – my perspective is pretty clear on most things…it’s an iPad. It’s not a baby or a pet that got dropped on a tile floor. Shit happens. Stuff breaks. I’m actually shocked that this didn’t happen sooner. I mean let’s be honest – no one in this house of the male variety actually takes care of anything they possess, so the cover was NOT on the device like it should’ve been (not that it would’ve saved it, but maybe). These devices often go missing for days at a time because they lose track of them. One can only be reminded so many times about how to properly take care of the things we work so hard to provide to our children, so I’m chalking this up as a lesson for a few reasons. Number 1: while I appreciate that my husband wants to put the devices in places where the kids can’t typically find them because he’s over all the screen time happening in the house just as much as I am, he probably should’ve picked a better spot in which to do so AND put them in their covers. Number 2: Take care of your stuff. Number 3: This is not the end of the world. Number 4: Can we please focus on the real issue happening here: our son is basically annihilating his self esteem right now over an iPad. AN iPad? Stop it. And fix it (the boy, not the iPad).
After the chaos died down upstairs, I went on a hunt to find the boy-man to calm his nerves. Wyatt is my sensitive one. He puts so much pressure on himself (for reasons unbeknownst to me) it’s ridiculous. He’s thoughtful, caring, kind, smart and…he’s a tween. I approach with kid gloves a lot with him lately. I know he’s going through all kinds of new feelings, experiences and all that stuff. I was a kid once, I remember it. So after looking for him for a few minutes – he was not in his usual hiding place – I found him in the guest room face down on the bed sniffling. My heart can’t handle when my kids are upset, it makes me upset. So I sat down, put my arms around him and said in my best tween speak “dude, I understand you’re upset but really, this is no big deal…it was an accident. I know you didn’t mean it. Shit happens. It’s OKAY. It really is. I’m more concerned with the way you reacted because that’s not okay”. This is the point in the conversation where as a parent your heart breaks because the last thing you want to witness is your child hating on themselves. Out came the explanation about how to handle situations and not over-react. It’s ok to be upset but it’s not ok to start calling yourself stupid and dumb and say things like “I’m so dead” when you’re clearly not any of those things. It’s also not okay to assume we hate you (which will NEVER happen) and that we are going to punish you. I reinforced all of his goodness and how much we love him and are proud of him (which is part of our daily routine so it’s not like he never hears it), how he’s an amazing role model for his brother and his friends. I told him we don’t encourage this behavior and that we had to find a way to make it stop and I wanted to know where these thoughts are coming from if they’re not something ANY OF US say EVER in our house. There is no negativity here, yes we say no to certain things but we never say you can’t achieve something (two totally different things). We are supportive of one another, we encourage one another, we outwardly love and appreciate one another. My children are not in an environment where negativity and harassment exist. We are respectful and understanding. Yes, he rough houses with his brother and the occasional “butt head” comes from one of their mouths, none of us are perfect. By the end of the conversation, he was calm and listening and ended up joining us back upstairs to do some more Pokemon Go (shoot me now!) hunting.
Of course this kept me up last night thinking about ways to confront the self esteem stuff that Tweens deal with everyday. I talked to Will about it this morning, he suggested Wyatt may have to learn how to lose on an individual level a little more often – something he does not have a lot of experience with. Yes, he’s been on sports teams for years and has been on losing teams, so he’s familiar with good sportsmanship. Will may be on to something. He doesn’t know what it’s like to fail at something on a personal level…he gets good grades, he’s well regarded among his peers, teachers and other adults. But, life is not about winning all the time, it’s about failing too…about how you CHOOSE to pick yourself up after you’ve fallen. I’m a huge believer in mindset. I know the power of a positive attitude can change your life. I talk about it all the time. So I’ve decided for now to focus on teaching him how to use his mind and attitude to change his opinion of something. I’ll let you know how it goes – that’s for sure!!
Happy Monday you guys!! Practice some positive mindset thoughts today!!