Practice what you what preach. Thats what people say. Thats what I know I should do. So, why is it so darn hard?
As a parent, my one unconditional mission is to make sure that I raise children who know they are loved and feel loved. I also feel it is my mission to raise my children to be intelligent, respectful, kind, generous, happy and empathetic.
Far too often, I seem to punish my children for being, well, human. I don’t allow for them to wake up on the wrong side of the bed, have a poor attitude or a bad day. Of course, I always want and expect them to be respectful, but pushing them to always have a positive attitude, why? Why should I expect such perfection and self-control from them, when I, myself, have a hard time exercising such….especially every moment of every day?
As adults, we have bad attitudes all the time; whether we are always conscious of it or not is another story, but we have them…a lot. And it is okay for us to have a bad attitude, or a bad day as well. Life is hard and work is stressful and so is raising kids.
The truth is that we do not need to always force our children to be happy. Yes, we worry that if we don’t put a lid on that negative type of self-expression that it will escalate and we the parent will lose control. But this is our own fear and our children’s self-expression should not be stifled because of our own anxieties. The fact of the matter is that a grumpy mood per se, is not a negative type of self-expression. Alternatively it is actually a positive type of self-expression of a negative emotion. There is a difference and sometimes I forget that.
Frustration, anger, sadness, and disappointment are all emotions that will come upon us and our children in our lifetime. It is how we handle those emotions that is what is important. How do I act when things go awry? Is THAT the example I want to set for my kids?
Lets stop telling our children how to behave and start showing them. We are the standard our children see for how to simply “be” in this world and I know that I need to work on bettering my standard….