May 2, 2012

Dear jack, Month 59

Dear Jack,

A few weeks ago, I was telling you something and you were arguing with me.  Actually, that happens almost every day.  But on this particular day, I finally said, "OK, Jack.  Whatever you say."  And you responded, "See.  I told you so."  In that moment, I caught a glimpse of what life with you as a teenager might be like.

You argue with us over everything.  Even things that you know nothing about.  It's like there's something inside of you programmed to challenge everything we say.  You also have trouble accepting that you might be wrong about anything.  And, if you know something, you want to be sure everyone knows that you know it.

What does all of this mean?  It means that you and I are a lot a like.  You are your mother's child.  For better and for worse.

So, from one know it all to another . . . here are a few things that might be helpful:

1.  You are not always right.  You are very, very smart.  You're right quite a bit of the time . . . but not always.  But even when you are right, sometimes it's okay to not insist upon it.  It's okay to let someone else be right.  It's good for you.  It's good for them.  Sometimes, it saves relationships.  Save the insistence on being right for the really important stuff.

2.  Save arguments for when it really matters.  If you argue over everything, people will just think that's how you are and never really listen to you. If you save your arguments for the really important things, people might be more receptive.

3.  Care about people more than you do about facts.  Ask yourself, "What will be the most loving way to act toward this person?  With the facts?  Perhaps on some occasions.  But often, they just need encouragement. So what if your brother's coloring isn't inside the lines?  Perhaps he just needs to hear that you like the colors he decided to use.  Or who cares if someone referred to The Flash as Spiderman?  Maybe she just wants someone to play with.

I totally understand the compulsions that make these things hard.  And I know . . . you're not even 5 yet.  Some of these things come with time.  But I know people who are my age and older and haven't outgrown these things.  They're no fun to be around.  I love you too much to let you become one of those people.

I love you no matter what.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I had to laugh reading this, because you described my Luke at age almost-5 to a T!

Hang in there, mama...