I have been busy, busy, busy packing and purging for our upcoming move next month to a new house. As I was going through some of my old counseling notes, I came across a quote from a seminar I attended on 'Parenting' and it really jumped out at me. I mean, super super powerful.
"What My Mom Thinks About Me, Is Who I Am"
My brain starting turning it's wheels and with all of the stress of school starting back up this month, the after school activities, the rush of getting out the door every morning, bedtime routines, dinner plans, homework (yes 1st grade homework), piano lessons, Nutcracker auditions....I stopped to think, "what message am I sending my child while doing all of these tasks on a daily basis?"
When we walk out the door on the way to school and my kids forget something and we have to rush back inside to get it, am I conveying the message, "Sometimes we forget things, and it's okay. It's tough to have to remember everything we have to do each day" and give them a hug? Or I am sighing and asking them to hurry up? Sending the message that they 'made a mistake' or 'aren't doing something right?'
When they struggle with their reading or math homework, am I conveying, "You are working so hard, you should be so proud of yourself!"??
As a parent, when we get frustrated (and we all do it often ahem), what message are we sending our kids? That we are annoyed with them, they can't figure out things for themselves, frustrated they have disobeyed us, etc?
But we can't always be the super-happy-everything-is-perfect-all-day-long parents. We all have our moments of being tired, stretched to our limits and at times we feel like servants to our kids' demands. There are some days that if I hear ,"Mom!!" one more time I am going to lose it.
So I am just trying to keep in check how I act and how it affects my kids. I may not be perfect all day long, but I always remember that as a parent: We get second chances.
If we snap at our kids or say something we wish we didn't mean, apologize. Tell them you are sorry and that you were (tired, hungry, frustrated, etc.). They will learn we all make mistakes, even parents, and it's not the end of the world. Even if you feel like the day was awful and you want a do-over, at the end of the day tell them how proud you are of them, give a few positive statements on their accomplishments they made, hug them and tell them you love them every day!