Today brought some sibling squabble irritations that exasperated me. I dug deep to maintain cool and move on following a 5 minute “discussion” with my 12 year old, N. Then I took some sage advice to heart. I can’t find the actual quote it comes from, but the gist is…
When a child misbehaves, it’s not always anger or punishment he needs; but he needs a hug, kindness, attention.
I applied this to N today and it made me feel much much better than the lecture did…without a smidgeon of guilt. I took him on an errand while the other 2 were at an activity, instead of running off myself. That brief trip with him to the drizzly Farmer’s Market renewed his attitude and brightened his mood. We played a game on my phone together in the parking lot for 10 minutes, laughing and whooping over our scores. We ran inside through the rain, shaking off drips from the downpour. Our spirits refreshed - all smiles and sunshine. Win-win. Psyche!
Hugs are the universal medicine. ~Unknown
The 2 clashing sibs gave me sweet little gems to counteract their frustrating behavior.
We went to G’s Kindergarten open House last night and he talked all morning about how much fun it was. At the bus stop, G grabbed my hand, peeked up for a split second and invited, “Come on, why don’t you come with me to school today?” In a sweet tone, not whiny or needy or scared. Spontaneous affection, eye contact, and a beautiful sentiment that tells me he wants ME to be with him. Triple bonus! Totally out of the blue. A tear spiller moment.
Later, at the dinner table my husband told me my new glasses look nice (another rarity – the day I got them he didn’t notice and the change is fairly drastic). I then exclaimed that I was thrilled to finally have Transitions (the type that turns into sunglasses). I continued, “Can you believe I’m 47 (shhhh 39!) and this is the first time I treated myself to transition lenses? I love them!”
Tween N, who half the time pretends he isn’t listening and/or interested asked, “Really?!? You mean you got them for me and M for our glasses, but didn’t get them for you? AND we have them on our sports glasses too!” Wow, epiphany! He realized that my kiddos really do come first. How cool is that?
I raised my eyebrows, “Oh yeah, I guess so.” I guess it was a no-brainer for them – playing outside, outdoor sports, visibility, protection, etc. But I didn’t apply it to myself until now. I’m outside just as much, glued to G’s side like a body guard (essentially my title), at their games, events, playing in the back yard, swimming. I suppose I can count on slowing down the crinkle face progress as a side benefit to being able to enjoy sunny days and less eye strain. See, I’m still justifying them for myself, aren’t I? teehee
Thanks boys, I’m so going to focus on these charming sentiments. I‘ll pull the memories out and hug them to my chest, my heart when I need a lift, some love or when I’m upset by misbehavin’ kiddos. Tonight they’re at the top of the day’s list of wonderment and love.
Words to live by now, before they grow, while I still can…
If I had my child to raise over again:
I'd build self-esteem first and the house later
I'd finger paint more and point the finger less
I would do less correcting and more connecting
I'd take my eyes off my watch and watch with my eyes
I would care to know less and know to care more
I'd take more hikes and fly more kites
I'd stop playing serious and seriously play
I would run through more fields and gaze at more stars
I'd do more hugging and less tugging
I'd see the oak tree in the acorn more often
I would be firm less often and affirm much more
I'd model less about the love of power
And more about the power of love.