Last night at dinner I got carried away with a line of questioning to my son. I consider him a picky eater. He is thirteen, and has chosen to be vegetarian. He prefers starches and sugars, so I worry about his health. I also sometimes feel that he is overly critical of food prepared by TL or me. I started asking every family member to name several of their favorite dishes. It went well at first. Then, after a few rounds, I stopped thinking and said something critical like, “See, son, it seems like you don’t like any dishes.”
It wasn’t true. But, I had told myself it was true because he was naming only dishes that I considered too starchy and not well-balanced. Repeat, it wasn’t true. He didn’t just name unhealthy dishes. Rather, I perceived his words incorrectly, due to my bias against him and my failure as a listener.
Despite my promises to myself to not criticize my son the way my mother criticized me, I found those stupid, hurtful words rolling off my tongue. And, worse still, I said that my line of questioning was all aimed at proving that he would not name healthy foods. That’s another sickly negative thing for me to have said.
Why do I do stupid stuff like that? I’m trying not to be a pessimist and a critic the way I was before D-day. I think I need help.