In this post, I thought it was important to shed light on something we can very easily & usually unintentionally instill in our kiddos. Lets say that you just cleaned the kitchen-the counters & table are spotless & you could practically eat off the floor. You are trying to hurry & get your kids fed & out the door because you have a lot of things to do today & you are already running a lil' behind. Suddenly, your kiddo puts their bowl of cereal a lil' close to the edge of the table & BAM! The next thing you know you have milk & Raisin Brand cereal everywhere! It is at that very moment we have 2 choices on how we are going to react. #1 We can flip out on our kids (Its frustrating. You worked so hard to get everything "just so", you are already running late, & they should have been more careful) or you can choose a different route. #2: Do your best to react calmly & take the opportunity to let them know that accidents happen & you do forgive them, but they need to be more careful the next time & then have them take responsibility & try their best to wipe up their mess.
Which ever reaction we choose to have, it is important to consider the long term affects that they can & will have on our kids. When we react like #1 & lose our cool, it is going to tend to create kids that are more uptight, on edge, & afraid to make mistakes. In the future this could even lead to them being apprehensive to reveal anything to us because they feel as if "failure" is not allowed & they are scared of how we might react if they dare make 1 bad decision. If we react in the 2nd way, we are letting them know that we are not perfect & mistakes will happen, but they also need to take responsibility for what they have done, be truthful about it, & try harder the next time. With this type of reaction I believe we are helping to create kids that are going to be more confident & realize that mistakes are inevitable, but its all about taking responsibility accepting the consequences & trying harder the next time.
As parents we can help to guide our children in the process of thinking things through & hopefully making less mistakes as they go along. As adults, we have learned so much through our own experiences & watching the experiences of others. We understand "cause/effect" a lot better than a toddler or young child. They still have a lot to learn & while something as simple as not putting a bowl on the edge of a table seems obvious to us, because of their lack of knowledge at this point it may not seem as blatantly obvious to them. It it is important that we look at their hearts & take the time to see where they were coming from, before being so fast to jump on them.
YES, this is easier said than done for sure. There are definitely some times where we are still going to lose our cool even if we know we should have been a lil' more calm. The good thing in those situations is that its not too late for us to come back to our kiddos & admit our mistake on how we handled the situation & explain how we should have handled it differently. Its actual good when a kid can see that even parents can humble themselves & take responsibility for what they have done wrong. Some may worry it could make their kid lose respect for them & see them as weak, but I believe it actual helps kids to have an even deeper respect for us & look up to us even more.
Have a wonderful & productive week!!!