My First Major Lesson in Parenting – The Journey Begins

I always saw myself as a good parent with good values and good sensitivities. I knew how to express my feelings well. I had tons of experience working with children of all ages through my work as a social worker. I knew how to control my anger – well I knew the rules anyway: remove myself from the situation, count backwards from ten, take long deep breaths, etc., etc…or so I thought.

It was my son’s second birthday (our second child was about 8 months old at the time). I was a stay-at-home mom and I was busy! I was also excited about getting presents for my little boy and I thought the presents I had gotten him were great. I laid out the presents on the dining room table, all wrapped up and beautiful. I let my son open them one by one.

He played with the things I had bought him for a little while, and then remarked that he didn’t like them. I was so hurt. How could he? I had spent so much time looking for the ‘right’ toys, thinking of what he would like the whole time, and there he was being so ungrateful.

I lost it. I got so angry. I didn’t yell (because I knew better – ha!), and instead I threatened him. “Well if you don’t like these toys, I’ll just throw them in the garbage.” “Fine,” he replied. And so I did.

After all, I had to keep my word. I had to show him who was boss. I was so angry (did I mention that already?) I could not wait for my husband to get home. I needed a break.

That night I had a long talk with my husband and I had a major “aha” moment. I realized that I was taking what my son did (a two year old!) so personally. What in the world was I thinking? I began to cry. I told my husband that I had to do something. I had to help myself, teach myself how to be the parent that I truly wanted to be. I didn’t like the mother I was being. I didn’t want to be a mom that lost it so easily. I always wanted to be the mom that has a great relationship with my kids. I just didn’t know what else to do. I knew that I required some new tools. I knew that I needed solutions.

After my talk with my husband, I went down to the trash can and took out the toy that I threw away. I took it upstairs, washed it off, and placed it neatly in his room.

Within a few months, I joined a nine-week STEP (Systematic Training for Effective Parenting) parenting class. The class was a true gift. I learned tools on how to get my kids to listen to me without yelling, nagging, or bribing. Learning the new tools was not easy. I was learning new concepts that did not come naturally to me – like aquiring a new taste to something I never thought I would like. But once I got used to it and tried out the new tools at home with my kids and saw how amazingly they worked, I couldn’t imagine having ever lived without STEP. (To find out more about STEP, click on the highlighted text above.)

I was excited to finally have a solution. I was excited that these new tools were helping me become the parent that I always wanted to be. I was calmer, happier, and more in-control of myself and my emotions.

But that was only the beginning. It was the first step, the one that somehow led me to the path of becoming a coach; the process of which has helped me grow in ways I never thought that I could.

So I thank God and my beautiful son for that lesson. I will never forget the moment when I took the toy out of the garbage. I was at a very low point then. The only way left to go was up.

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Career & Relationship Coach | Leadership Trainer | Founder of UnleashingU!

Hi, I'm Jenny Sassoon, founder of UnleashingU! I help you go from confusion, struggle and self doubt to clarity, confidence, fulfillment and success in your career, business and relationships by reconnecting you with your essence and guiding you to take ownership of your life. Click on the 'Contact' Tab to schedule your complimentary 45 minute consultation to meet or speak with me and learn more about how I can help you.

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