A new year has just begun and with it comes a brand new adventure. I was in church just last Sunday, and the teacher talked about which side of the "line" we live on. Do we play things "safe" or do we look to take "risks"? Do we stick to a routine, or stretch ourselves to reach beyond what is comfortable? He then asked what we find to be "adventurous" (basically how do we define adventure). At that moment, I leaned over to my hubby and said "Children!"
Yes, children can be the biggest adventure of your life! You never know what they are going to say or do in the next minute, hour, day or week! They keep you hopping from one foot to the other with anticipation of what comes next. They could be smiles and kisses one minute then it's as if someone flips a switch and POW! they turn into Mr. Hyde who wants to rip you to shreds!
I have experienced this phenomenon countless times in my years as a mamma, and it NEVER gets easier to handle. If I had some way of deciphering the moods or reactions of my children, say something like the "Doppler Radar" the weatherman uses, maybe I'd be right at least 40% of the time and could "batten down the hatches" for when the storms are about to blow.
Because we don't have the technology that can "forecast" our children's moods or behaviors, it helps me to remember that there is really only one person whom I can "read" - that is little ol' me. I can choose to be in control of ME at all times and in all situations.
I am reminded of the story of the grandfather who is going through a grocery store with his small grandson, who is being a typical toddler, tantrums, throwing stuff, whining for things you won't give him….(if you are a mamma you definitely know what I'm talking about). The grandfather is showing an amazing amount of self control by calmly saying things like "It's ok……Almost done……Don't get worked up….You're doing great….." It isn't until the end of the story you find that the grandfather is working on his own self-control and not once trying to control the actions of the small grandson. (click on picture below for the short video clip of full story. Beware - you'll need tissues before you reach the end!)
This is such a touching story to me cuz I can completely relate. I have been trying really hard to implement these same principles into my family and surprisingly enough, they work! I have found if I gently remove my tantruming child from the room, take them to their own room where they can gain control over themselves, and walk quietly away, it is far more effective than screaming and yelling at them in my own version of an "adult tantrum". I have instead shown and taught my children that it isn't ok to "lose it" and that I love them enough to help them see that their actions aren't acceptable. I have also taught them that they have control over how they choose to react to the situations around them.
I'm not saying that I have mastered this technique - YET - but I am working on it and it is getting better each and every day. My children no longer fight with me once I deposit them into their rooms. They also know that they aren't allowed back into "polite society" until they can control themselves enough to apologize for their tantrum and are ready to "be nice". This has also made it less of a battle at our home. There is less yelling and more smiles and love.
So, if you are tired of the daily "fight", remember that you can take control of the situation and how you are going to choose to respond to said situation. It takes two or more people to fight about something, YOU need to CHOOSE to NOT be one of them!