You can’t teach what you don’t know

Parenting is hard, guys. It really just is. Granted, some kids makes that job harder than others…but still. It’s going to be hard regardless.

I struggle sometimes with my 5 year old. A lot more so than I do with my 3 year old. My 3 year old basically sings songs about how he loves his mommy all day, and how mommy is his best friend, so in all reality, there’s very little he can do that could or would ever really upset me.

Don’t get me wrong, I love both my kids with all my heart. But my 5 year old…holy cow, that kid is JUST like me. Which, unfortunately, means that I have to teach him the things that are hard for me.

Like, for example, expressing things in a positive way, using our words without just getting frustrated and angry. UGH.

Do you know how hard it is to teach that to someone when it is the very thing you struggle with the most?

It is SO hard for me to be emotionally vulnerable and to use expressive emotional language. Yet, for my kids sake, I know I have to. But it just feels so foreign and difficult for me. To sit there and teach my son the very things that I know I need to better about myself…it’s…it’s interesting, to say the least.

I want all of my kids to be kind, loving, and trusting people. Which is literally the exact opposite of all of my natural instincts. Yes, I am very kind and loving and accepting and tolerate…but do I express that very well?

Fuck no, I do not.

I think these things…I think “I love you, look how good of a job you’re doing!” a thousand times a day. But it takes a genuine, forced effort for me to actually verbalize it.

I think every parent wants better for their children than they had it. I know I certainly want better for them.

But it is SO hard for me to teach them the things that I really think are the most important…when I struggle with them so deeply myself. Talking about feelings, expressing your emotions in a healthy and positive way…it’s just not natural for me. And I know I’ve struggled because of it.

I want my kids to have a better life than I did. I want them to succeed in all of the ways that I struggle. So I know I need to work harder at this. I need to work harder on myself, so these things that I value for them become easier, and not so forced.

At the end of the day, I know I’m raising some great kids. But I don’t ever want to think that I’m hurting them because of my own shortcomings.

I’ve spent a long time in therapy trying to better these things about myself. And I know I still have quite a long way to go. “Vulnerable emotional communication” has never exactly been a strength for me. Actually, it’s probably the very thing that I’m the worst at.

I know that I can’t teach my kids something effectively if I don’t know it well myself.

So maybe that alone is all the motivation I need to really start getting the hang of it. I mean…I’ve certainly been trying to get the hang of this for long enough.

I hope one day soon it stops feeling so foreign for me. Because honestly, it doesn’t feel very good.

And not only do I want better for my kids….but I want better for myself, too.

I deserve better than what I’ve had…than what I have.

4 thoughts on “You can’t teach what you don’t know”

  1. It amazes me how much grace kids can show us, especially when they see us struggling with the same things they are working on. And our mistakes (i.e. learning experiences) can become great teachable moments. <3 You've got this, mama!

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