I’ve been listening to this podcast recently ( I’m slightly addicted to podcasts.) and two things from it really stuck with me this week.
The first being related to discipline. Now my relationship with disciplining my children ( well really just C at this point) is closely tied to my level of anxiety that day or that moment. My close friends and family know that I struggle with anxiety and once it builds up I have a very hard time calming down. This can translate into a lot of yelling. I’m working on it. I don’t believe that yelling at C is the right way to change behavior. Maybe it will stop it in the moment- sure. But that’s not what I’m after. I want him to understand why poking M in the eye is unacceptable, not just stop doing it when I yell at him.
There have been several times during all the sleepless nights of M’s life that the next day I snapped at C, immediately felt guilty, and apologized to him later. ( He is always more gracious about it than I would be.) I have the tendency to be the cliche: crying over spilt milk, making mountains out of molehills, you get the picture. So here’s the advice: when something happens that upsets you as a parent ask yourself- If this behavior is still happening in 10 years will it matter?
If C leaves his legos all over the floor for the one millionth time after asking him to clean it up- in my opinion yes this will matter in 10 years. I want him to clean up after himself, learn responsibility for his things, and respect my poor feet…I mean my wishes.
|How the kid gets through this gauntlet of toys for a midnite pee I will never know.|
If C is making fun of a kid at school FO SHO this is something that needs to be dealt with because that behavior can look really ugly and dangerous in a teenage boy.
But if C is coming into my room at night every couple hours because he is having bad dreams or the thunder scared him- he most likely will not be doing that at 15. And I may even miss him thinking I can make the monsters go away. So I kick it off my ( very long) list of things to worry about.
This can even apply to my little M-monster in a way I didn’t expect. She wants me to hold her all.the.time which is something C never demanded. It’s absolutely exhausting and I get (well meaning?) advice constantly about how I’m spoiling her and I need to put her down more. ( For the record I am not talking about at night. I’m a huge believer in sleep training of some form for my babies.) But you know what? I can pretty much guarantee that at 10 or 11 years old, M will not want to be held all the time! This is a phase, yes an arm crushing, exhausting one, but one that will pass. And if this specific little developing human I’ve been gifted with needs extra cuddles and holds- she’s going to get them. I’m done worrying about it.
I love concrete advice like this. And I know it doesn’t apply to every situation, but for me its been helpful even if it just makes me step back for a second and think about the situation before reacting.
The other advice came from a podcast about slowing down. This applies to me specifically right now as I try to fill the space recently vacated by my husband. The first week he was gone I had so many activities planned. My motto was “get out of the house.”
|Random, useless trips to Learning Express, anyone? We call this “sadness shopping”|
In my mind, the busier we were, the less we would think about dad being gone. That may work for me, but it was at the cost of C’s sanity. Day 4 after the husband left C had a complete sobbing meltdown at a play date. It took him 15 minutes to calm down. I had run that little boy ragged. So for the sake of my family, I’m planning less. This is incredibly hard for me!!! I hate sitting still. But right now I’m trying to be ok with blank space on the pages of my planner. Leaving more time for jumping on the bed singing Trolls songs.