Just don’t hurt him too much
He knew. His discomfort with what he had allowed was written on his face. His body language was that of someone who would rather justify and rationalise, than admit that he could have done better.
The restless movements, the intermittent sighs in his sentences, which were being delivered in a hasty self absorbed way, as if he was talking to himself, more than to me, showed his inner conflict. “I suppose you find me boring”, he tossed at me. “No, there is no such thing as an irrelevant experience in life. Everything matters. By telling me even that which you thinking is not related to your problem, will help me to understand you better. In this way, I am sure I can offer better support to you”, I reassured him.
“You see, hey man, it is like this. He is a very lively little boy. You know what I mean! He never stops, man. He drives his mother mad! She is on the go with him all day. Now, her health is not so good. So, she finds him a handful to deal with. Even his teachers say that they cannot control him!” he said as if the teacher’s ability was proof of his decision to act in a particular way, which was causing him this deep conflict.
“You know, after a day at work, with all the stress and problems I have to face every day, I just don’t want to have to go home and then put up with his demands”, he said, avoiding my eyes. “Most evenings after work, I’d rather go to the gym for awhile. This is a good way for me to get rid of my stress, you know”, he said, justifying his absence from home at the time which most families find hard to deal with. Between 5pm and 7pm the children need to be fed and bathed, and if you are doing a reasonable task as a parent, they could even find themselves tucked up in bed for the night by 7pm or so! This is not always the part we like to play as parents with the child resisting our efforts as every turn to not bath now, or to watch a little more TV, or not wanting to eat what has been prepared. Many parents would love to be at gym while someone else did the work, I thought to myself.