With school now in full swing for many families, I wonder if any of you have lost it? Yelled when they should not have? Walked away in the middle of conversations with their children?
Of all the families I have worked with I have always had parents share one time they “lost it”.
I think we owe it to ourselves to prepare our children for times when
we might not act as expected or we might need them to understand. I
call these ‘teachable moments’ that happen before you actually lose it.
1. You see a Mom yelling and yelling at her kids don’t just quickly
walk by and pretend it did not happen. Go to a place far enough away
from the scene so you can talk to your own child and ask “What do you
think is going on there?” Then have a discussion on why a parent might
behave that way.
2. TV is also a great place to see abnormal behavior so talk about
what you are both seeing. When the young star comes home pregnant and
the mom just smiles ask your child “What do you think your best
friend’s Mom might say or do?” “What do you think might say?”
3. When you see a person getting medical attention don’t hurry your
child by. Just slowly walk away, and then later talk about the situation. “What
happened to her kids?”, “What do you think was the most important that
that child could have done in that situation?” “What would you do if
Mommy fainted at the Mall?”
Travel, Stress and Me
I have traveled around the world so many times with my own two
children that they have had lots of teachable moments because travel
tends to bring out the worse in some people. Use those moments to
show your children that humans have different behaviors according to
the emotions they are feeling. They only thing you can do as a human
is to really understand your emotions and how your actions cause
reactions in others.
One time I thought I was going to pass out in a major overseas airport
and I said to my son that I was feeling really sick. He replied,
“Don’t worry Mom, I will be sure to grab your purse because it has our
passports and you won’t want it to get lost.” Smart boy.
After the fact as parents, we must always be responsible for our
actions. The best way to address this is not to apologize for our
actions but to tell our kids “Mommy wishes that I would have done
this or this instead, I am sorry I didn’t respond like I wanted to at
the moment.” You need to model appropriate behavior on what to do if
you happen to blow an interaction. This is the best way for children
to learn to be honest about their feelings and yet responsible enough
for their actions.