Teachable moments can be so f*cking exhausting

I’m really frustrated with one Mr. Gavin today.  He can be so difficult to coexist with sometimes because he basically lives in his own world and the rest of us are just along for the ride.

It can be very challenging to get Gavin on the same page as everyone else. He might say that he gets it but in reality, he knows that what he’s supposed to say and he probably still doesn’t get it on any meaningful level. He made so much amazing progress and has improved in many areas. I’m very proud of him but there are still things we need to work on.

Last night, he and Elliott got into it because Gavin said something about Elliott being in a bad mood. Elliott wasn’t actually in a bad mood but Gavin incorrectly perceived that he was and made a bigger deal out of it than was needed.

Elliott was definitely in a bad mood afterwards because Gavin wouldn’t stop talking about it.

Elliott finally walked away and Gavin eventually followed him upstairs. Elliott was explaining to me what had happened and Gavin piped in that Elliott was wrong. That certainly wasn’t helpful, although I don’t believe he was actively trying to cause a problem.

Eventually, the disagreement was broken down into its simplest form. It was very clear to me that this whole thing was based on miscommunication and I was tying to help them see that. Elliott jumped on board the thought train and it was Gavin who just wasn’t grasping the concept. He became very frustrated and confused.

To be completely honest, neither Elliott nor Gavin had really done anything wrong, and both of them could have made different choices that helped to avoid the whole thing.

I became frustrated because I couldn’t get Gavin to understand what I needed him to understand. These are pretty basic concepts in my view and it came down to basically, this one concept.

I needed him to understand that sometimes we say things with the best of intentions but our words end up being hurtful to the other person. We have to be careful when we say things because in a household of people who all communicate in different ways, it’s super easy for misunderstandings to take place.

It took nearly an hour of effort before Gavin understood enough to even just stop saying the things that were upsetting to Elliott in that very moment. All Gavin was doing was trying to explain his point of view. He was trying very hard to do so as calmly as possible. The problem was that he sorta went on a loop and even though we all understood where he was coming from, he just kept repeating himself.

Eventually, I got everyone on the same page, at least for the most part. It all ended on a positive note and both Elliott and Gavin made peace with everything that had happened. They both figured out how they could have handled things differently and that’s all I needed them to do.

You might be asking yourself, why in the world would I put myself through that?

Frankly, I don’t do this for fun. It’s like fucking  herding cats and it’s exhausting. At the same time, especially in Gavin’s case, if I don’t sieze the opportunity to address this in the moment, he’s less likely to ever learn anything from this situation. That’s not to say that he learned a great deal from this one but he gained some experience and insight that I’m hoping he can put to good use.

This whole thing comes down to communication. We need to keep working on our communication skills. Progress is being made and that’s always a good thing. We’ll just keep plugging away and using misunderstandings as teachable moments.

Rob Gorski

Full time, work from home single Dad to my 3 amazing boys. Oh...and creator fo this blog. :-)
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