The other day while I was sitting in the store waiting for my prescription to be filled I noticed a little boy goofing off. The things he was doing were totally age appropriate, but his mom was clearly annoyed with him.
And then she snapped.
She yelled at him to stop, using a word that I don't allow my children to say and a voice that was less than gentle. I watched as her little son completely deflated--his shoulders hunched over, his head drooped, and he moved to hide behind a sales sign.
My heart broke for him. He really wasn't doing anything out of the ordinary, and it wasn't even that noticeable if you weren't watching him. But, even if he had been really out of control, I knew that the way the mom handled it wasn't okay.
Our children need to be treated kindly.
The thing is, when I see other moms deal with their children inappropriately, I know they are tired. I know they are exasperated. I know they are running on little sleep. I know they are overworked. And when they are in that state, the little annoying things their children do become gigantic. And then they snap.
Want to know how I know that? I am one of those moms that snaps sometimes. And when I snap, it's never about my child.
It is 100% about me.
It's about keeping that mom account full, yes. But when I see other moms acting the way I sometimes act, I know it is about much more than that.
Running on empty is not an excuse for treating our children badly.
Remember the golden rule?
That rule that we teach our kids? Treat others the way you would want to be treated, right? Moms, this includes our children. And it never hit me harder than it did the other day watching another run-down mom lose it with her child.
Don't get me wrong. We need to correct and discipline our children when they need it. That is our job. But we also need to remember that they learn many of their behaviors from us. If we are correcting them by yelling and screaming and calling them names, it accomplishes very little. What it does accomplish is making our children feel deflated, unloved, and even embarrassed (especially if they are yelled at in public). It teaches them that it is okay to lose it and belittle and scream at others when things don't go our way.
I know that we are tired. I know we're overworked. I know our kids bug us sometimes. I know that sometimes they bug us SO MUCH that we think we might go crazy.
I also know we love them more than anything.
I am determined to be better at this. Not only do I need to be better at keeping my mom account full, I need to be aware of how I am treating my children. My children who I love so much!
Next time my kids are being annoying or even the next time they are out of control, I am resolved to stop and think about my reaction before I lose it. I'm resolved to stay calm and gentle and to discipline them out of love instead of from a place of crazy.
I will not call my children names.
I will not scream at my children.
I will take responsibility for my own actions.
This post is part of my 31 Days to a Happier Home series.
To see all the posts in this series, click here: 31 Days to a Happier Home
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