Monday, October 28, 2013
My four-year-old has always been very verbal and he knows that words are his weapon. And boy, does he use them! One day it was complaint after complaint after complaint. I honestly wasn’t even listening to him anymore by the time dinner rolled around. My husband was working late (again) so it was just the kids and I. I gave the baby her cut up dinner and then grabbed my son’s plate from the kitchen. I put it down in front of him and geared up for a meal full of whining and complaining. I sat down next to him and we began to eat our dinner. Then, he shocked me. After a few bites he said, “Mom, this dinner is crazy good.” I was so surprised! After all, it was only macaroni and cheese. From a box. I learned two things in that moment.
1. Don’t expect the worst from others. I expected a bad attitude from my son but I was the one with the bad attitude. If you look for the bad then you’ll always see it. If you look for the good then it will be more obvious as well. I love the quote by Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe that says, "Treat people as if they were what they ought to be and you help them to become what they are capable of being." It's a little wordy but I think is very applicable to the job of mothering our children. It's our job to help our children become the best people they can be.
2. Lock in the good memories for the bad days. This was the most important thing I learned. Several weeks have passed since this “crazy good” dinner took place and I have replayed in my mind the compliment my son paid me for the simple meal. Replaying it helps me remember that he is sweet and kind and thoughtful. It helps me remember that I do get it right occasionally.
Focus on the good and take a mental picture or video of your children doing something great. Keep it locked in so you can replay this video when it’s been a rough day. It will realign your train of thought and remind you that parenting really is a crazy good job.