Since he was old enough to understand the concept, I have tried to teach Hoodie tolerance. When he gets upset with one of his friends and is ready to dissolve things, I tell him to put himself in that person's place and think about the reasons why he or she might be acting toward him a particular way.
I try to explain that even though certain family members drive us nuts all the time, underneath it all, they still love him very much and to remember that above all else.
This morning, I was a real asshat to him. He was being slow and we were running out of time for us to pick up his friends, get them to school and get myself to work and I blew a gasket.
I said a lot of stupid things and then tried to justify why I said them. In the end, it was all my fault that we were running out of time even though I was making him think it was all on him.
The cause of that time problem isn't difficult to figure out, it's something that can be changed to avoid any repeat situations. But the scars that I left on my son's psyche and in his heart from MY complete shittery....well, there is no justification for that.
I've apologized and told him how much I love him and he's told me that he's okay and that we're alright, but I just can't stop thinking about what my actions have done to him and the consequences they'll play in his future.
Why wasn't I able to think of that BEFORE I got mad? Why couldn't I get over my anger and keep the garbage from coming out before I had spewed it all over our relationship?
I was too angry to be tolerant this morning.
How can I expect my son to follow my advice toward his friends, when I cannot even lead by example?