The Things We Need to Remember… about how WE are like our Children.
We need to remember how WE are like our children??
I know we have all heard one time or another how our children will be like us. So we need to think about what characteristics of ours we don’t want to pass down to them. But what we often forget… is their needs are a lot like ours. Are we being selfish in the way we are treating them? What if the closest person to us, be it a friend, spouse or parent.. was treating us that way?
A few months ago my Father in Law was talking about “Awe” moments. And how when we get them, they are like an epiphany… Like “Wow. This is amazing”, or “Wow, Why have I never thought about that before?”
My Awe moment this week was… Her needs are just like mine… Mine are being met, because I’m in control. Are hers?
This would go for my son too. Any child. And the reason I had this moment was how frustrated I was getting that she kept waking up wanting food!!
*Ugh can’t she just sleep
*Why is she whining about it?
*Why didn’t she just eat her dinner??
Now, these are all good questions… But what if my husband got frustrated when I needed a snack before bed?
Or if he snapped at me, when I got up at night to get a snack? Totally have done that before.
Or if he was upset that I was hungry but we didn’t have something to eat? Or if I was sick and NOT ABLE to get something myself, and he complained about helping me??
I would not like that. Not one bit.
So what I am trying to pose here is not that we don’t get frustrated sometimes… because we all do. I am saying that we need to liken it to us… and Treat them with respect too. They are still learning… They don’t know better, and quite frankly, they aren’t able like we are. She is 3, she doesn’t have 22 years of experience. He is 1, he has even less experience than her!
So I like to think about it this way… If I needed help, would I want someone to snap at me or help me.
Here are the ways I think we could change and be less “selfish” about helping our kids.
1. Put ourself in their shoes. Have we had this same problem?
We get hungry and get to eat whatever we want, but they need food to grow, and really shouldn’t be told no about food until they’re older. (Offer healthy alternatives!)
Sometimes do we act out because we don’t know how to feel or react? They do too! And they have had so many less years on this planet than we have.
2. We get upset that they can’t control themselves. But are we perfect at controlling our own selves?]
We have trouble controlling our temper but then get beyond mad that these little people can’t control theirs! I say offer them solutions, and coping mechanisms. Give them choices, with consequences. One I like to do is,
“Ok, you have two choices. Do you want to continue your behavior, and *insert punishment here*- OR Do you want to listen to me, and *get to help me* or *not get in trouble* or *be obedient*? When they are offered choices, they can problem solve AND know THEY made the right decision.
3. Try to understand why they are acting the way they are acting. Let them know it is ok to be mad.
IT IS SO IMPORTANT TO LET THEM KNOW FEELINGS ARE NORMAL. Guys, so many people tell their kids not to feel! Without realizing it. Don’t cry, Don’t be mad, Don’t be sad, Stop being scared, It’s ok. You know what? Sometimes it’s not ok! And it is ok to be mad, sad, and scared. It is our actions because of those feelings we may need to change.
Have you ever been mad and cussed, or punished someone even though maybe they didn’t deserve it? OR MAYBE THEY DID. But, here’s the way I like to think… If I made a mistake would I want them to give me another chance. Yes, I think I would.
So I like to ask my daughter… “Is it ok to be mad?” She usually says no. I say “Yes. It is. It is ok to feel. It is not ok to hit, kick and scream when we are mad.” That way we separate the TOTALLY NORMAL FEELING, from the totally not ok reaction. Helping them with this will help us in our own lives.
So I am not trying to parent anyone’s kids, I am trying to be their advocate. I want to bring it to our attention… that we are a lot like them.