The Power of “Yet”

I can’t decide if I’m harping too much or if it’s a sign that my sage advice is finally sinking in when one of my boys cuts me off just as I’m about to speak, saying, “I know what you’re going to say, Mom” and then repeats one of my Mom-isms. (For the purposes of this post and my tender ego, I think I’ll choose the latter explanation.)

These days, I’m relying heavily on the word “yet.” For example:

Younger son: “I’m just not good at that.”

Me: ” . . . yet.”

Older son: “I can’t handle all this!”

Me: ” . . . yet.”

I’ve been in their shoes, so I understand how this one-word solution to their drama might not provide much comfort . . . yet. But somewhere between their eye rolls and exasperated sighs, I’m hoping this little word stays with them. In fact, I don’t even mind when one of them parrots it back to me (occasionally in a less than respectful tone), because at least that means they’ve heard the message. Now I just need them to keep hearing it at the end of every judgment they make about themselves (or others make about them), whether I’m there to say it or not.

And, just in case this brilliant parenting scheme doesn’t work, I’ve hung this on the wall opposite their beds, so they see it every night before they go to sleep and every morning when they wake up.