I am setting myself a resolution for November and hope you, my fellow Calm Moms, will join me.
I am going to work harder on understanding my kids’ behavior from their point of view, rather than from my own grown-up point of view (for moms of babies, check out a previous post on understanding baby behavior from baby’s point of view).
Here’s an example. On Halloween, we attended a party with 30+ children, all five years old and younger. As we set out for trick or treating (in a pack of these aforementioned 30 children), I noticed a lot of pushing and shoving and rudeness from my five year old daughter. Several times, I pulled her aside and asked her to be more respectful of her friends. “Please,” I said, “Stop pushing, shoving and snarling at your friends. It’s not nice.” Needless to say, I got some snarls in return!
The next morning, I was telling my very wise mom about the evening. She said, “That sounds like the most ridiculous plan….who would attempt to trick or treat for 30 small children?” I took a step back and thought it over. It was certainly fun for all of us moms and dads. But, for the kids? They worried about whether there would be enough candy, they wanted to be the “line leader”, they were tired and felt irritated by the intrusion in their personal space as all the friends gathered on tiny front porches.
What did I expect??? Perhaps it would have been MORE concerning if my daughter had hung back, not caring about the same things (getting candy, being first, having space) as all the other kids.
In other words, she behaved like a normal 5 year old, given the demands of the situation.
My problem (I am being honest here!) is that I forget to consider my kids’ point of view when we are in difficult situations. I just get frustrated if they are not behaving like the little angels they are most of the time!
So, here is my plan. When I feel myself getting frustrated, I am going to cue an image of a “SHOE” in my head. This is going to remind me — stand in their shoes, consider what THEY are thinking and feeling right now, and….react accordingly.
I will fill you in on how my plan is going. And please, leave your tips on how you handle challenging situations with your little ones.
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