Sunday, August 3, 2014

Calming Down

I have a daily battle with myself.  It's not a battle that you can see, but an inner battle, a struggle to stay calm when my children are not.  I fight this battle every day so that my boys can witness healthy ways to deal with anger, frustration, disappointment, or fear.  I don't always win this battle, but I keep "practicing," and continue to learn more about myself.  

There have been many learning opportunities, or "aha" moments in my life with my children; moments when I realize that I can choose my attitude, that I should never forget to play, that I am my own guidebook, because my boys are learning despite what I may not see, and that I have to keep going forward.  It's almost funny how they have each hit me in a different context, at the right moment, or even an odd moment....

One particular odd moment was during a workout routine I was following on my television in our living room.  It was almost over, and the instructor was covering the cool down/stretching portion.  My six year old noticed the instructor was no longer yelling over loud music...

"Mom, why is he talking so quietly?  Why isn't he yelling any more?"

Not even thinking about it, I matter-of factly told him...

"Its not as easy for me to cool down my muscles and calm down my body if he's still yelling things at me, so he talks quietly during this part."

W-H-O-A, and DUH! I thought to myself.  He didn't ask me anything more about it but it hit me hard.  I know yelling doesn't help my kids, it usually just escalates the situation even more.  When they are feeling out of sorts I have never seen them calm themselves, or follow direction when I am yelling, it only makes it harder for them to do it, they cannot be calm if I am not.

So I carry this little "aha" with me in my pocket, along with all the others, and I pull it out from time to time when my kids are yelling and I find myself yelling right back at them.

What "ahas" do you carry with you?

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