We should all strive to respond as well as this dad.
You can see the thought process in his head, “I’m getting ready for a shift I don’t want to work but have to and my son is out of bed when he should be sleeping”. There is a moment of frustration, his kid jumps at the tone and replies with hesitancy explaining that he just wants to eat breakfast with him. Freeze frame. How many times do we lash out with frustration in this situation and send our kid back to bed? How many times do we not even let our child speak up about why he is awake. How many moments have we missed because of this?
Yes, this is an actor playing a well written role for a cereal commercial but the exchange between the father and son in this moment is powerful. He hears the explanation of why the child is awake and catches himself. They share a wontderful moment before he heads out to work all because he took a moment to listen. I need to work at responding this well. I’m tired, I’ve been working until 2am all week long on a website and his door opens up just as I fall asleep. My natural reaction is to grumpily send him back to bed ignoring what he’s complaining about but that doesn’t benefit either of us. Sure there are plenty of times he get out of his room early in the night because he wants to play or sneak some chocolate but I need to get better about how I handle that frustration and listen to the “why” of why he’s up. Those moments can either bond you together and inspire trust or breed division and tear your child down.
Thank you for challenging me to be a better dad, Cheerios.