Heart Aches & Angry Bellies

“The best predictor of a child’s well-being is the parent’s self-understanding.” – Dr. Daniel Siegel

Does having the self-understanding that we are totally confused count?

boy covering ears

Photo credit: Mads Madsfoto Johansen / Foter

Then, clarifying the strength of his position,  “Mommy, when you sing, it makes my belly feel angry.”

Eek. I notice my whole body feels like crying.

What do I say to that? After all, I am a musician. A children’s musician.

Deep breath. Observe racing thoughts: How can my son not like music? What about Suzuki training that was supposed to start in 6 months? I can’t stop singing around him! Why do other kids like my music, but not my own son? What about my dreams of him singing backups vocals in the studio on my new kids songs? How is it possible that I, ME of all people, have a sporty son? He’s already close to 3 and a 1/2 and I don’t yet have Vimeo videos showing off his musical abilities – have I failed him already? Isn’t it amazing how many thoughts can zip through our heads in one moment? And aren’t they quite hilarious – when we take a moment to actually observe them flying by? (I have mixed feelings about Vimeo anyways…)

Another deep breath. I notice total confusion arising. How do I navigate this situation without introducing my son to guilt?

Asking ‘Why?’gets me no clarity on his comment… surprise, surprise.

I put down the guitar and join with him in lego. His angry belly now seems to be smiling. Hmm.. maybe it’s a connection thing.

After all this deliberation, I decide to tell him that I love singing and making music and we will have to find a way to make it work because I am not going to stop. That seems to go over well. I also try to put myself in his shoes and wonder if perhaps my inside thoughts are influencing my outside behaviour a bit too much – pushing, rather than inviting him to make music. I used to wish my parents had put me in piano lessons at a very early age. But who knows if I would have ended up hating music had it been thrust upon me. Maybe that’s the self-understanding, amidst the confusion and hurt feelings. Making music is my dream. I need to let him grow into his own.

I’m still not sure why he dislikes my singing so much. My flute playing however, I totally ‘self-understand.’