…yeah, but…

We all know that kids are an imperfect and often unpleasantly distorted echo of ourselves. My youngest has started echoing a tendency I seem to have of contradicting people. I used to accuse him of being a little contrarian, but now I see he’s just a chip off the old block.It seems like every time I ask him to do something, he begins his sentence “yeah, but”” and explains to me why he can’t do what I’m asking, doesn’t want to do what I’m asking, etc. I used to think it really annoying and rude. As with all such behaviors, I ask “where did he learn that?” with the assumption that he learned it at home. If I do one thing right as a parent, I accept full responsibility when I inadvertently teach my kids bad things. 🙂

I started listening to my own speech. So did my wife. I discovered that I begin sentences like this all the time. Someone says something to me, and my response is “yeah, but”” This habit is a half-baked attempt to accept someone’s point of view while expressing my own. It actually serves to succinctly dismiss their point of view and substitute my own. The more I think about it, the more disappointed I am in myself for it. I’m going to have to start catching myself and thinking more before dismissing someone else’s opinion.