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  • Writer's pictureMad Black Dad

My Lil Accountability Partner

I see myself in Dom more and more each day, but now its starting to get scary and really making me reflect. Dom has hit the age where he is independent; he can do most things by himself besides cook and drive. He loves his independence and becomes incensed when we infringe upon it. So much so that he will refuse help but still get frustrated when he’s unable to complete the task on his own.

The other day while getting ready for school, Dom picked out his clothes, put on his shoes, and was ready to go. He didn’t match one bit! To his dismay, I sent him back to his room to change. He dropped his head and sulked on his way to his room. I finished getting Dionne ready with a bottle and pressed play on some sesame street. I went to catch up with Dom. He was sitting on the steps fighting to get his pants off… the boy never took his shoes off. I gave him a confused look, and he started crying. Sometimes he gets so frustrated or overwhelmed that he does goofy things or misses simple steps.

And boy if that ain't me.

I told Leah about it and she said “Hm, sounds like you.”

I was offended, but I couldn’t deny it. She reminded me that when I feel like I'm under pressure I do the same things (just in adult form). Dom is watching and learning my habits and mannerisms. Being a parent has been a joy and a blessing. Leah and I have experienced our fair share of challenges, but this is different. This is personal. I have to always be at my best for Dom (Dionne too). He’s watching me, following me, mimicking me… I have to set a positive example for what it means to be calm and collected. That means I must do a better job collecting myself when I feel overwhelmed. And it is not a font, I have to admit that I am overwhelmed or frustrated. I am not going to mask it or fake like I am perfect. He needs to see me when I am struggling, so he can see me how I recover. He needs both sides.

Parenting is often like holding up a mirror to yourself. Your children are constant reflections of your physical and emotional output. It truly challenges you to look at yourself and decide the kind of parent you want to be and the kind of person you want to be.

Watch your children, because they are watching you… What can you learn about yourself through them?

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