I was doing the dishes in the kitchen when I heard PP mumbled something about being the worse kid in the world. At first I thought he was responding to a kids’ show that he was watching but upon hearing it again, as he said in verbatim, “Aabo thinks I am the worse kid in the world!” my heart just sank.
When I asked him to repeat what he said, just to make sure that it was not a joke or something of the like, but he responded with, “nothing, Mommy, I said nothing.” It was a sign that he had something on his mind. I knew then we needed to have a conversation by summoning both PP and O to the dining table so we can talk about the meaning of “good/best and bad/worse.”
Both O and I reflected right then that we have never uttered such negative words to him so I don’t know where he had gotten it from. But those words he said made me sad because he is only four years old, and I don’t want him to lack the confidence to build positive self-esteem just because the way he understood them.
So at the dinner table, our conversation evolved around the association of these words. We also talked a lot about teaching him to be a good human being, and mistakes are inevitable, and our roles as his guidance. PP is our “experimental child” in a sense that as the first-born child he bears the responsibility of being the “tester” for the ways we learn of parenting methods.
This incident helped me to realize the power of words spoken when the boys are around. It’s not that we are afraid to teach him a wide range of vocabulary, but we need to be more conscious about the context in which these words are used. PP is at the age of absorbing so much into his head and every thing we say stick to his mind. We cannot take for granted that he would comprehend the meanings of words on his own, but it is our job to give him layers of meanings and how to use them appropriately.
Being a parent is not an easy feat!
Anyway, to lighten up the atmosphere, I gave them some milk and cake before going to bed.