Managing Children = Managing Relationships
On bad parenting days (you know, when you’re super cranky), it’s really easy to fall into the trap of being mean and nasty to the kids.
But I realise though that while role modeling good behaviour is tough, it’s really necessary.
When you have more than one child, that’s when you realise how easily your children pick up on your habits, both the good and the bad.
When I am exasperated with my children, especially with my second born who is almost three (his mind-boggling behaviour is especially testing), I can see how easily they copycat. In fact, you know kids copy all the time! My second born, Z, repeats ALL of the sentences I say to him. For no apparent reason. So it’s not surprising when I see my oldest boy, M, scolding Z the exact same way I do towards Z. And he also coaxes Z the same way we do, too. It’s also tickling when M uses the same strategies like distractions, dangling a fruit or outright manipulation (ha!) when he has to manage Z.
In a sense, it’s pretty much like managing all the relationships we have in life. Some of our relationships are a bit more difficult because of the variety of human behaviour. Some of our friends or family members are a bit more difficult to please, while some of them are our go-to people because they are more accepting of our weaknesses. Some are mild-mannered while some are aggressive. Yet, we strive to want to protect important relationships, or all of them, by trying to be the best version of ourselves. Unlike with other people, we may have to be with our children many hours in a day and we need to be on our best behaviour most of the time.
Perhaps, to meander across this field of parenting, on top of patience, we have got to learn that we lead the way in role-modelling good behaviour and guiding our children to be better version of themselves. It’s extremely difficult! Especially on days when you are not in the best behaviour and just want to let your guard down and give in to your bad habits.
I think when that moment comes, it’s time to take a break, let your hair down, put on a movie for the kids and hide somewhere in your kitchen with that secret chocolate stash or your daily dose(s) of caffeine. Hehe. Or simply tell your children you’re not feeling so good and need them to leave you alone for awhile. Older kids may even let you have your space, you may be surprised. Again, this is a good way to teach them that life is not always a bed of roses, not always easy. Which is not a bad lesson at all!