Schooled by our children

My husband very lovingly decided to make French toast for breakfast last weekend. Ayaan, our 6 year old son, wanted to help. It was all peace and harmony alongside a beautiful mess in the kitchen.

I’m a fortunate woman, blessed with these two handsome men, who are very loving, very kind and very funny. One of these men is my best friend, my husband, Qais. The other is our our precious little gem, Ayaan. They share a relationship as special as the humans they are

Ayaan, very proud of his creations, brought the plate carrying the toasts to show me. 5 ‘Wows!!’ and 2 Michelin (read: Mummy) stars later, he started walking back to the kitchen, still holding the plate.

Along the way he lost focus and the toasts landed on the floor. 

If this was a scene from an Indian soap, there would have been 3 zoomed-in shots each of the martyred French toasts, Qais and Ayaan, with music blaring in the background! 

In a second Qais went from being Mr. Happy to being Mr. Grumpy. Our son got a stern telling off for not paying attention to what he was doing.

Ayaan apologised without any argument. However, me with my ‘Maa ka dil’ (a mother’s heart) could not ignore the sadness and disappointment in my son’s eyes. I knew he was excited for the breakfast he had prepared with his Daddy and was looking forward to eating it with him while watching their favourite TV shows together.

They sat down to eat, with 3 toasts less than they had intended to enjoy. I just went quiet and had a very hurt look in my eyes.  

My husband probably noticed this rather unattractive look on my face and realised that it’s because he acted a bit unfairly towards our son. So he asked Ayaan if he thought his Daddy did the right thing and what would he have done if someone else had dropped food that he had made?

Ayaan, although seemingly enjoying his breakfast, replied:

 ‘I would have been angry too, Daddy. But I would just make some more toast because I know the person didn’t mean to do it’. 

This answer came so instantly and casually to my son that we were proud of him and ashamed of ourselves at the same time. 

Qais immediately apologised to him and admitted that he was wrong. He said that he should not have reacted the way he did and would try his best not to make the same mistake again. He also explained that he just wants him to learn how to focus on what he is doing. Ayaan agreed and promised to be more careful in future. 

This understanding between father and son brought tears to my eyes and filled my heart with pride for both my boys.

We all make mistakes as parents sometimes. Life is tough and it exhausts us. Many times we unintentionally take our exhaustion out on our children. We are human, after all. We may have many reasons for our behavior towards our children which they may not understand. One minute we are showering them with affection, and the next were telling them off for something small, which leaves them confused.

I am proud of my husband for what he did that day, and it made me learn a very important lesson. It is good to stop and reflect once in a while. Ask our children where we have gone wrong. They may be young but they are getting wiser by the day. We should give them the respect they deserve, even if we see them as our babies. There is no harm in saying sorry to our children. If we don’t, they won’t learn to either.

Lots of love and prayers for all our little wise folks, and the older ones too!

This story is submitted by Amina Sheikh

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