After my self-realisation this week that I was (am) a very controlling mother, I've been trying hard to change my behaviour. It is SO hard to change what you've been doing for the past almost 24 years. Some habits are so ingrained and now I understand why my Mum was still reminding me to wear a petticoat 5 years after I'd married and left home. (And my response at that time was horror p how controlling was she?!! The fruit didn't fall so far from the tree it turns out)
Yesterday was a particularly challenging one. Josh was really late home from work but he'd phoned to let me know he'd be late. He walked in the door and a black cloud followed him into the house. He'd been to the shopping centre and while reversing out, he'd hit a concrete pole and smashed his tail light and dinged in the back. He was a bit shaken and he was really angry and he wanted it fixed right away - impossible at 8pm on a Thursday evening.
Now normally I would have jumped out of my chair and tried to fix it for him (not the car but how he was feeling) I would have taken his bag from him, made him a cup of tea/coffee, heated up his dinner and got Iven to look at the car to see what needed to be done. I would have managed the situation. But this wouldn't allow Josh to deal with it as all adults have to. He had to work out best how to manage his emotions and find the help he needed.
And the strangest thing happened. Iven got up and went out to the car with him. They discussed things over and when Josh came into the house next he had a plan of attack and his temper had defused significantly. Iven is pretty laid-back and I think his manner with Josh was enough to calm him down. I stayed with my backside firmly planted on the chair while Iven got to do some of the best parenting that I've ever seen him do. He talked to Josh man to man, worked alongside him, took him up to the car supplies place (thank goodness for Thursday late-night shopping) and together they got his car legal enough to drive.
And then came my second revelation for the week. My micro-management has possibly cheated Iven of some valuable parenting opportunities. So often I've complained that he didn't step up as a parent and I was left doing it all when sometimes what was required was for me to step away from the situation and meddle a little less.
All I could think of last night was that Josh will always remember the night he had a his first bingle and the thing that he'll remember the most was that his Dad was there for him.
So now I've got to learn new habits. I have to keep reminding myself that adults get to make their own decisions. And I get to worry less - hopefully.