One of Those Days
Have you ever had one of those days where you go, go, go? On these days there are lots of places to get to, you are always running late and your children seem to be grumpy, whiny, and aggressive. You don't know if you'll ever master getting out the door with a smile on your face and everyone in a good mood.
At the ends of days like these we plop on the couch grateful that there is finally quiet in the house and still some chocolate ice cream in the freezer. We hope the children will give us at least two hours of good sleep and that we might be able to actually check something off or our to-do list before we get to 'turn in.' These are the days we can't wait to finish.
I have felt those days too. I have had nights when I am the good kind of tired and nights when I am the bad kind of tired. You know the kind that is all emotional because the children had one emotional problem after another all day. Those are the hard ones. Those are the days when I really don't want to talk to anyone any more. I have heard my voice all day solving one issue after another.
I understand those days so don't get me wrong here. But, what if we are going at it all wrong on those days? I know that maybe we don't see another way, but what if that was all it took..........a change in perspective? What if you only had a few weeks or months left to live? Would you really be glad for those days to be over then? Would you look at them differently? I bet you would. This perspective works for me. I can honestly say I really do try to remind myself to live like I am dying. Sometimes this means I let the children stay up late and I make treats for no reason at all, but I love living like this. I enjoy it!
Life is short. The time we have to bond and raise our children is painfully short. Just ask any parent who all of the sudden has an empty nest. None of the good ones say, " I sure was glad to get those kids out of here so I could be alone." They just don't say that. They say, "Where did the time go? It seemed like only yesterday..." Since we don't have much time we need to choose to enjoy it.
Our attitude as parents each day is a choice. We can get involved with the children and work, play, run, laugh and snuggle or we can talk on the phone, look at the computer, clean the house and do personal projects. We can also just run them here and there while at the same time trying to snatch personal time everywhere we go. We can say the bare minimum to keep everyone on task and end up feeling unappreciated and isolated or we can engage in happy personal communication all the time. We get to choose all of this. We can make memories each day just by changing our attitude.
The Most Important Thing
I know the purpose of this blog is to help parents know how to handle hard parenting situations and behaviors so this my seem like some philosophical stuff that doesn't apply. But, I can not emphasize enough that the way you are, the feeling you bring to the family, is the experience you and your whole family will have. You have that kind of power. Attitude really is 80% of what makes a really good parent. The rest of the good parent recipes calls for 10% organized family environment and 10% good communication and problem solving skills.
The family organization and the words parents say are important, but the perspective the parent has about her calling as a parent really is the most important part. Do you really enjoy parenting? If you do, your family knows it and responds to your ideas and communication with more enthusiasm and vision. If you don't then your words are going against your feeling. The feeling of love and open communication starts with you. Isn't that exciting? We get to pick how the family is going to feel most of the time.
Sure, there will be minutes when it looks like everything has fallen apart, or that someone is completely out of control. Plan on it. Those days will always happen periodically. However, the way you approach all your days is what really makes the difference.
Shooting For the Ideal
This is going to sound so idealistic, but people who know me know I am an idealist. I reach for the ideal each day and then accept the realistic when it comes. Here goes...every time my child is having a problem which needs my attention or needs me to talk to them, I choose to get excited. Of course I don't show that excitement; I choose to show calm concern instead. What I am excited about is that I get to help my child figure out more about life and about himself. I get to point him in the right direction. I get to bond more and show him I see his goodness. I get to show my child I don't hold his bad decisions against him, I think he is much more than an action. I get to NOT make a big deal of a behavior. I get to make a memory; the kind of memory that can make my child a good parent.
This is the way I look at solving problems and communicating change with my children and they know it so they respect our communications and work really hard at fixing the problems they know they have.
Remember that Teaching Self-Government is "Being able to determine the cause and effect of any situation and possessing a knowledge of your OWN behaviors so that you can control them."
We get to show our children what their problem behaviors are. We get to bring the behaviors to their attention. This is a crucial time in their self-government progress, so let's take an attitude that can actually make a difference. Let us be happy we were chosen to mold another person. Let us be uplifting, and kind, but firm and consistent. Let us love those teaching moments so that some day when look back to our parenting years with fondness that we are proud of the memories we have created.
Each day is a gift. We never really know how many days we will have with our families so we should enjoy every minute of the hours we have been given. Love the time to mold another. Love what will happen to your family and your memories when you are the loving optimistic force in your family. People all over the place put these signs in their homes that say, "Love, Laugh, Live." I don't know if the signs work to change people's attitude but I do know that those three L words are keys to a wonderful day and a wonderful life no matter what happens.