On Good Friday, I walked into the kitchen and saw my fourteen-year-old son Aaron on his phone. Unbelievable. On his phone again when I just asked him to do the dishes. My blood boiled. I puffed out my cheeks and squinted my eyes as I walked past him.
When I strolled by glancing in his direction, Aaron looked up and stuttered, “Mom, I was just picking a new song to listen to while I do the dishes. I promise.”
My heart melted. By his tone and his body language, I knew my sweet boy (who doesn’t even use his phone that much!) was telling the truth. Shit Danielle, not cool.
I softened my face and cracked a warm smile, “Huh? I didn’t say anything,” I lied.
Aaron looked to the ground and said, “You didn’t have to. You got me really upset. I could feel you were mad. I’m sorry.”
Stubborn and embarrassed, I quipped, “Nope, that’s all you. I wasn’t thinking that, and I wasn’t mad. Maybe you’re just tired.”
I booked it to my office, closed the door, and let the tears trickle down. Danielle, first you prejudged him and then you lied to your son… What is going on?
As I thought about the situation, I realized I let my pride get in the way of being honest. I wanted to be right, but I unfairly assumed that Aaron was avoiding dishes for scrolling through Instagram. I also had an epiphany; my lying could have a big impact on Aaron. Not only could my actions jeopardize our relationship, but it could also prevent him from trusting his intuition.
I started to worry even more. What if Aaron believed me when I said I wasn’t mad in the moment? Maybe next time he won’t trust his gut and his ability to read people deeper than their spoken words. This scared the crap out of me. As someone who regularly uses her intuition in work and personal life, I know how important it is to decision-making, protecting myself from people and situations I don’t want, and fostering more authentic relationships with others.
When I couldn’t take it any longer, I had a chat with Aaron. Blinking away tears, I took a deep breath in and said, “Aaron, you were right this morning. You did sense I was mad. I made a snap judgement when you were on your phone. I realized that was unfair of me, but I was too stubborn to admit it so I tried to make it seem like you were the one who was reading the room wrong. I am so, so sorry. I always want you to trust yourself. I love you so much. And I’m sorry for lying.”
Aaron chuckled, “You’re so dramatic. I knew you were lying. It’s all good. I forgive you.”
I grinned, “It was immature of me and I’m going to do better. It makes me so stinkin’ proud that you trusted yourself.”
We hugged it out.
What’s the moral of the story? There are many here. Try not to judge others. Try not to fib. Own up to your mistakes when you can. Remember, you’re not alone if you’ve made a parenting blunder.
In my eyes, the most important lesson to carry with you is to be like Aaron and trust your intuition always. Sometimes, people won’t tell you the truth, either because they’re embarrassed, scared, or their ego has taken over. Don’t doubt yourself for a second. Your intuition is a powerful and needed tool in this world.
Join me in spreading my messages of breaking judgement habits and strengthening intuition even further: forward this blog to a few family members and friends. The greater the shares, the greater the impact – They can subscribe here.
PS – Here’s an affirmation for those days when you question your reality (i.e. you feel one way but someone else claims differently), “I am grounded and aware.”
PPS – Do you want to start trusting yourself more? If so, here’s a writing activity. Set a timer for 2 minutes. During that time, list as many things as you can that you’ve ‘done right’ over the years; small or big decisions you’ve made that have worked out well for you. Did you pick a comfy couch that has held strong for years? Did you suggest the last restaurant you and your friends went to and the service and food was awesome? Did you marry the love of your life? Once your two minutes are up, you should be left with multiple examples to remind yourself that your intuition and judgment are strong; that you have the power to trust yourself. Remember this the next time the world is trying to tell you differently.