Shouldn’t nearly half a century of experience impress kids and count for a zippity do da? I try to prep my children in advance so they avoid problems.
“Put a sippy lid on that cup if you’re taking it in a carpeted room.”
“Move that glass while your reaching over so you don’t spill.”
“Don’t take that toy you like to school – it won’t be nice anymore ’cause everyone will want to touch it and it will make a distraction in the classroom.”
In spite of my warnings, drinks are spilled, and toys are soiled, broken, and even stolen. Why don’t they listen?
“Do you think I’ve lived all these years for nothing?” We’ve all heard that from our parents. “I’ve learned from my experience so I can help you now…” Their ears have shut down.
“Take it easy on that swing. It’s old, and I just got it from Grandma-” (handed down; she bought a new one). Not five minutes later it is tipped over, fallen apart on the grass. My fears come true.
“Lay out your clothes for the football game before you leave this morning because you won’t have much time, between afternoon babysitting and supper, to get ready.”
“Mom,” she calls from the place she is babysitting, “Would you get out my thermal top, my white hooded sweatshirt, my Clipper T-shirt, and my L.E.I. jeans, and send them with Dad when he picks me up cause I won’t have time to get them. I’m eating something here.”
Aaahhck!! What did I say this morning? It was to save me time, not my daughter!
Sometimes they have to learn for themselves, but why so much of the time? This creates one of the most frustrating situations parents can experience. We have the knowledge to prevent a problem, yet, it falls, untouched by the wayside.
My blood boils from the frustration and anger. My muscles tighten. My tone escalates and I eventually strain my voice. My usual vocabulary falters.
My anger brings a keen overuse of the foul varieties – that special set I’ve picked from my past surroundings: Dad, my grandmothers – if it was ok for them in times of stress, it’s ok for me. (Unfortunately, my kids feel the same way hearing me swear).
Anger and stress are real enemies we all battle, and for parents, how we deal with them not only affects our lives but the lives of our children through the examples we set.
Check out our tips on anger management. I need to use them. Hope they’ll help you, too!