One time there were a lot of things going on due to work, so I didn’t have much patience for interacting with my son very often. When we did talk, our conversations were quick and I unconsciously raised my voice to make him agree with my point of view.
When my son responded loudly to me about something, I was very unhappy.
“Why are you talking so loudly?” I asked.
To that, my son replied, “I’m just copying you. You’ve been talking really loudly lately.”
I was momentarily stunned. I knew that I was wrong and that my son only copied my behavior. Speaking loudly not only makes the other person feel bad, but also doesn’t help one win an argument.
I think my son’s behavior is better than mine. I’ve yelled to him loudly many times, but he tolerated me and was even willing to listen to my explanation. Only this time did he talk back to me, and I saw myself in my son. I cannot stand to be treated that way either.
I sincerely apologized to my son. I told him that I would pay more attention to my own behavior and that if he found me behaving that way again, he must remind me. I also told him what I learned — that raising your voice does not help to communicate something and in fact makes matters worse. My son agreed and said that I should tell him if he behaves like that too, and remind him to improve.
Lessons can be learned between parents and children, helping each party improve and grow into better people.
Writer: Yuyu Chiang
Translation: Ireen Chau