Monday, July 11, 2011

Parental Fail

"Mom, I gotta tell you something, and I'm calling you because you'll freak out less than Dad. I got in an accident."

"Are you SERIOUS?"

"Yeah. I backed into someone."

"You're not kidding? You really hit someone?!?"

"Yes, I did. And it's not helping that you're YELLING AT ME!!!"

*big, deep breath.....much calmer tone of voice.... because, drat it all, he was right...I was yelling, just a bit*

"You're right. I'm sorry. Are you ok? Is anyone hurt?"

From there, he proceeded to tell me exactly what happened, and I was able to walk him through exactly what to do. No one was hurt, the owner of the other vehicle seems to be a very nice young man, and we're hoping to get this taken care of with minimal fuss. A busted taillight and a dented bumper for each vehicle. As far as accidents go, this one's a cake walk.  Heck, both...yes, that's right...BOTH of my brothers backed into MY car when they were both in high school.  Or, perhaps more correctly, they each backed OVER my car when they were in high school.

Still, I can't help but feel like I totally hosed a defining parental moment.

His first fender bender, and I didn't react the way he needed me to. I didn't believe him at first, and wasn't calm until he reminded me that he needed me to be.

Do I at least get some bonus redemption points for asking about him first, rather than the car?


Big Mark 243 said...

Eh... I am going to give you a C-plus... but the next time you get that call you HAVE to behave better.

I think the first thing is to get rid of the ego and help the child out of the mess. Negotiating through something as unfamiliar as a traffic accident is more important than whatever emotions are bubbling up.

It is important because THIS WILL COME UP AGAIN. It will be dressed differently and it may be in a different area of life (has he had his heart broken yet? Well, now he is in college and the stakes get way high... you want him to feel comfortable with talking to you about that, right..?) but how you react to things that are smaller in relation to what is to come, will be a factor in whether he decides to confide in you or not...

... oh, and Bug is taking notes... cause his turn is approaching quickly.

I think it is better that they feel comfortable sharing FIRST... there are almost always going to be repercussions to come... help them to be strong for that and worry and moralize after a few beers at a family picnic or better yet, NEVER!!

Burgh Baby said...

Don't even beat yourself up. Imagine how your husband would have reacted first, and then decide if you did OK. ;-)

Karen said...

Don't even go there, girl. You're a role model mom.