Fellow parents, I’ve hit a point in my parenting where I am now relying on children’s cartoons to get me through my emotional fits, has that happened to anyone else?
There is this little goody two-shoes tiger, you all probably know him from his debut on Mister Rogers Neighborhood. He was the tiger that lived in the clock, the little shy one? Remember? Meow …. I run at the sight of my own shadow …. Meow?
Well anyways ….. even if you don’t remember that’s okay because he is not the same anymore! Now he is an emotional toddler learning life Lessons and teaching them to other young’ins through songs!
Oh the songs …..
My daughter adores him and Mumma adores the lessons that she learns from watching his breakdowns. There’s an episode that focuses on his parents going out on a date. When Daniel becomes upset that their not back yet his babysitter, who happened to be Prince Tuesday (I know right!), signs him a charming little melody about how “Grown ups come baaaack.”
I really used that one to my advantage when Kay started noticing my absence while I was at work. Now she couldn’t care less when I leave …. Good thing or bad thing? *sigh* good I guess ….
So anyways … with these little life lessons playing in the background occasionally it’s no wonder that I would subconsciously grab onto them too …. like little life vests being thrown into an emotional sea!
The other day we were struggling with Dominic’s behavior …. something that’s becoming more frequent lately …. and I found myself having to walk away from the conversation before I got angry.
Listen …. you cannot have a meaningful conversation with a child when your angry. You need to display patience and understanding but when I’m this close to whopping someone’s ass I have to walk away! I’ll admit it …. I don’t hit my kids … I talk to them and try to understand what caused the behavior …. I patiently explain why it’s not acceptable and I think long and hard about appropriate discipline for each behavior, but I’m human too!
Show me someone who is not going to get upset when they find their child peeing under his bed. Show me someone who is not going to become frustrated when said child is wearing a pull-up but decided to push it down and pee in the bed so no one will know he didn’t go to the potty! Someone who is not going to become upset when they find their jewelry destroyed and then thrown under the bed to hide it. There have been a TON of upsetting behaviors recently and I am trying to figure out the best approach but sometimes it’s hard to not get upset!
The key, I have found, is not being an emotionally constipated jerk because you have feelings and your going to feel them. The key is to know when to have those feelings and how to process through them BEFORE dealing with your child. If your angry your not going to be effective in dealing with things appropriately …. your going to come unglued. An emotional volcano and your kids are going to run for the hills ….
So how do you process and still get the point across that what they did was not okay? Well there it is huh? The burning question on every parents mind! If you find the answer gimme a call …. because I haven’t found it yet!
My first reaction is to storm in both guns blazing like …. Somebody better tell me what the hell is going on here! Hair whipping around my face (I could probably use the hair dryer for this!) and thunder cracking in the background (man-child is on the stairs with a cookie sheet!) like that’s my initial reaction!
We don’t want our kids to have heart attacks okay! We can’t go all Laura Croft on their asses …. although …
So lately I have found a way to remind myself to calm down and it came with some prompting from a four year old. I was angry and I told every that if they knew what was good for them they may want to give me five minutes, that’s normally everyone’s cue to walk away whistling but not today! Today my charming daughter said this “Mama when you get so mad you want to roar take a breath and count to four”
Thank You Daniel you little shithead!
So to re-cap Mummas and Daddy’s ….. When you get so mad that you want to roar take a deep breath and count to four!”
Not as much fun as going apeshit but probably much more effective!