You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe deserve your love and affection – Buddha
Are you going crazy trying to make your wee ones happy all of the time? Are they confused by your multiple personalities? Everything is either a “sing-song” negotiation or an all out mommy scream fest? Does the idea of a tear stained cheek send you into the chocolate closet for stress relief?
Relax fine parents! I am here to set you free, because in my opinion both as a mom and nanny, positive parenting has nothing to do with the kids, and everything to do with YOU!
Yes, you heard me right! Positive parenting is about you. The happier you are, the happier your kids are. If mama and/or daddy isn’t happy, then NOBODY is happy! This is something I know for sure!
Stop the negotiations, stop the sing- song, and the grown up temper tantrums, and stand up and take charge. If you feel secure and happy, you will not have that doubt in the back of your mind that somehow they won’t like you. They will like you! There is no better choice in a parent than you for your child.
Now don’t get me wrong, as I am not giving you a free pass to neglect your family in favor of “me” time, as my kids are my top priority. I have noticed though that when I am sad, depressed, or unsure, I am not a good mom. I am snappy, biotchy, and down right short on the nerves! It does not happen often, but when it does, I have to stop myself and re-group. A time out for grown ups! Mine may be in my room, or in the kitchen, or a drive to the store. What I know for certain, is that rarely has it ever actually been about the kids. It is almost always about what is going on in our own (mine or my husband’s) racing minds.
Do you have a kid that is downright belligerent for no good reason on any given day? Do you hate that your toddler acts like … dare I say…a toddler? Instead of trying to make it all good, or getting mad, take a look in the mirror first. How is your attitude? Not your public face, but your real honest to goodness depths of your soul, self.
I hate to compare children to animals, but like the family dog, they can sense when things are not good, and they do what it takes to get you to notice.
I stood by as I watched a young charge berate his mother as she pleaded with him to get ready to go. He ran around the couch, jumped up and down, and spun in circles. Anything he could do, but listen to his mother. It was obvious to me that this kid was mad at his mom, but I wasn’t going to open that Pandora’s box. His mom immediately went into the “sing-song” of positive parenting, where she told him how happy she would be if he were to get ready, how happy his grandparents, Santa, or the checker at the store would be. That perhaps if he were a good boy, a special treat or sticker would be his reward.
I could not stand it one more minute (false high-pitched sing song drives me crazy), and told the little darling in my firm but calm voice to get ready. Just like that, he stopped, got his stuff, and was ready in minutes. Not a heroic (or lucky) moment by any stretch. I was in a balanced state of mind, and the child believed my command.
God intended kids to be emotionally selfish. They could care less if you are happy, and they really don’t have the capacity to meet your emotional needs. So on that note, please don’t use your need for happiness in a action based negotiation.
We got junior to do what was needed, but still I could see his mother seething in both contempt for me, and her less than precious offspring.
What about mom? Well mom is at wit’s end. She did not get the promotion she hoped for, her husband works longer hours then she would like, and words are exchanged at home and gossip to the girlfriends on the phone, is all within earshot of the child. The child recognizes mommy is not playing nice, and her sugary sweet high-pitched kid voice is not believable, as mommy never uses that voice with anybody else. As for mom, her chief complaint is that after a day at work, and all the pressure she puts on herself, the struggle with her kid is just TOO MUCH! How can she make the shift?
It doesn’t matter if you are at home or work, because as I have said before, every mother on the planet works! So let us first take that excuse off of the table. If your child is not listening, or is dismissing you, the problem is with you. You are not happy, or you are carrying stress that needs to be released. Put your oxygen mask on first. It is ok to go into a bathroom without a toddler at your heels. It is ok to get that shower, or even take a couch break while your kids plays at your feet. You don’t have to be their everything at every moment, even when you work all day and feel your time is limited. Mothers do this more often than dads, but stress knows no gender. Stop the madness in the race to be superhuman. And while you are at it… Please turn off your cell phone and leave it with the car keys at the door, turn on the answering machine, and just enjoy the blessings of your family.
Let go… breathe… relax… Positive parenting is all about you.