Something really profound happened at bedtime with our sons last week.
During our nighttime routine, (stories, song, prayers etc), I had a moment of impatience and spoke disrespectfully to their mother.
“Could you just chill?” I said tersely. My tone and facial expression was enough to silence the room.
My 5-year-old son almost immediately mimicked me.
“Mommy, chill!” He barked.
I felt so embarrassed in this moment. I knew it was ME who set the example for my son to speak to his mother like that. There was no one else to blame.
I didn’t even feel like I was justified in disciplining my son given that he was only copying my behavior.
My ego tried to keep me defensive and angry. I don’t know why it’s so difficult for us as men to say sorry in these moments — but I knew that moments like this matter.
Instead of letting the moment pass, I swallowed my pride and said clearly: “I’m really sorry if that was disrespectful. I never want to be disrespectful to you.”
Mom thanked me for the apology. But it was what happened about 60 seconds later that floored me. My son leaned over to me and asked, “Should I say sorry to mommy?”
“That’s up to you. I felt like I was disrespectful, so I felt like I should,” I replied.
After a long pause, my boy did the right thing.
“I’m sorry for being disrespectful, mommy.”
My inner dialogue: “Holy sh*t.”
As men, we are the trendsetters in our families. We set the tone. Our behavior and habits, not our orders and demands, will determine the kind of children we raise. Remember, this we are in a generational battle.
This was such a powerful reminder of this. We cannot be perfect. We cannot be perfect parents. But we can show our kids how to respond to our imperfections.
God bless every single one of you,
Founder, High Value Dad