Parenting doesn’t come with a guide book. But, even if you did have a guide book, would it really help? Having a parenting guide book made by someone else might show you how to change to a diaper or how to cook baby food but it might not prepare you on how deal with your child’s character. I have also learned from other moms that having a previous child won’t prepare you for the next one either.
Each kid is his or her own person. What worked with my mother for me didn’t work the same way for my little sister. And what my mom learned with us both, she couldn’t use on my youngest brother. What worked for my mother isn’t working for me with my own toddler now. So what are we to do beside cross our fingers and pray to God we get it right?
I can tell you what’s working (and still a work in progress) for me SO FAR…
Instead of focusing on the CHILD, I have learned to focus on MYSELF.
Yes, I know it’s our kid doing the yelling, the screaming, the kicking and the nonsense behavior. Sometimes you wonder deeply if maybe you bumped your pregnant belly too hard once before. This is not to say that kids wont be kids but kids can be testy! I worked about a year in a daycare and I can guarantee you that your kid is smarter than you already. They are simply looking to see what reaction they will get from you whenever something happens. She spilled the milk you just pumped? Did he poop on the bathroom floor even though he’s supposed to be potty-trained for a year? Did she throw a tantrum at the store? Did he poke his little brother in the eye and lied about it? Okay, I get it. All those things can be frustrating to deal with especially when they come grouped all together (can I get an Amen)? But let me let you in on this great secret I discovered, your child(ren) look to you to see how you react to any situation.
You spilled your drink? Are you cursing up a storm and frustrated at having to clean it up or are you simply upset but can clean it up with a good attitude?
So, your kid is yelling at you. What is your reaction? Yell back? They yell back again. You yell back louder. Or do you calmly answer them, explaining that if they want to be heard they must communicate properly? And I get it, it doesn’t work 100% of the time but it will help you to not grow old so quickly. #facts.
It’s so comical to me because it took way too long to realize focusing on yourself can be applied generally with anyone not just parents dealing with their kids. Take it from someone who found it difficult to like people, even though considered a people-person with great people-skills. There was a time that every word out of my mouth was laced with pure sarcasm (pun intended). I had to learn that sarcasm was actually a hypocritical way to express my true feelings and to teach myself to just speak the truth straight forward. Sarcasm had become a way to deal with people that I found frustrating. So much so that it started negatively effecting my good relationships and causing people to not want to speak to me because of it. I was letting other people’s behavior determine the way I reacted or responded and that was the point. No one should determine my behavior, instead my behavior should be determined my values and in turn, that will reflect in the way I respond: calm and collective.
Take a whoooosaaaa moment to relax your mind.
Stop to think about what is important at the present time and if this were your last moment with that person, how would that effect you? Would you have any regrets? Or two years from now would you look back and think, “Ha, ha, ha! I’m so proud of myself for keeping up that unnecessary argument flowing”. Would you have to give an apology to someone you felt didn’t deserve it? Or would you be accepting an apology that was never spoken? We just might never know. And this is not for us to live in constant fear of the unknown but to learn to cherish life for what it is-a gift, more often then not, given to many. And what is more are the very children we struggle to understand. They are our borrowed treasures from heaven. We should re-train ourselves to be patient, loving and compassionate knowing that we too were once that little and had our own struggles with communication and understanding our emotions.
Even dinosaurs, or should I say, “DinoTrux,” have to learn to refocus their energy so they don’t blow a gasket! Ethan is currently obsessed with this new dinosaur/mechanical truck show on #Netflix called #DinoTrux and they have pretty good life lessons on their episodes. In one episode, the “trux” named Dozer clearly has some anger issues to resolve. Throughout the entire episode, we see him literally causing his own destruction because he’s allowing others to annoy him to the point of breaking down. He gets so frustrated that he is left with just one functioning “tread” rendering him immobile. Dozer had to learn what super-chilled “trux” named George had discovered many years before, the power of the downshift. Harvesting the ability to maintain inner peace in the mist of external chaos. Dozer takes George’s advice to remain calm and pushes pass the commotion brought about to distract him from staying relaxed. At the end of the scene, Dozer is able to get to the mineral baths that will fix the pressure problem caused by the previous frustrating moments allowing him to rejoin the team against the bad guys.
Sounds funny to get life lessons from a kids show, but it’s what we want our children to acquire and it is what we must learn to remember: When you learn to focus on yourself, you focus on the right target.
<For those of you mildly interested in the episode mentioned above, here is a clip of Dozer learning the power of his downshift>