Embracing Opportunities...

Isn’t it amazing how many times a day our kids fall apart, whine, back talk or give us other types of grief?  Its as if they are on a mission to slowly drive us insane…

Lately I have decided to change my lens, and see these annoyances as opportunities to use my skills.  If we had kids that never caused us any problems, that got along, did their homework, ate whatever we served them, and skipped off to bed each night at 8 o’clock, we would never get to practice being the parents we want to be, and our children wouldn’t see positive models of how to handle stressful situations.

Because, you know, who we are during times of stress is really who we are.

Today, I had lots of opportunities to practice.  My kids got on each others case even before we left the school grounds.  I used the Positive Discipline tool “Decide what you will do.”  I smiled big and let the kids know that I would let them in the car when they had taken accountability for how they made the other one feel and made repairs.  Then I leaned up against the van and pulled out my phone and checked my email.

Well, they soon realized I was serious and reluctantly took responsibility for their part in the sibling conflict and apologized.  We hopped in the car and headed home.

We lived through it and made it home before the next meltdown began...  The afternoon was rough for the kids - tears, yelling, even a “You’re an idiot!”  And all the while, I stayed calm and loving, supportive and encouraging.

What a gift, right?  Ha!  This is not always how we see these kinds of afternoons.  It was stressful and ugly, but I wasn’t.  And that is a beautiful thing.

I made a point of letting my kids know that I appreciated the opportunities they gave to me to practice my calm, kind, connected parenting skills today.  I let them know that I only get to practice when they have a hard time.  My son looked at me thoughtfully and said, “You’re welcome, sweet mama.”

seven week Positive Discipline class begins Saturday, February 9th at the Monroe YMCA.
A FREE WEBINAR event is scheduled for Friday, February 15 from 1:30 - 2:30 PST
  Check www.joyfulcourage.com for more information
about classes and workshops, and “like” the Joyful Courage Facebook page.