“There is not one good thing I can say about my child!”
Parents in my Parents Anonymous group heard this more than once from exasperated parents, (blush) me included. We all may have different reasons for the situation like being over-scheduled, being tired or exhausted. I don’t really like to say this but I was a more negative person back then and even now am a bit of both – a realist and dash of optimist thrown in for good measure.
In the beginning when I looked at my daughters rooms, it was with a critical eye: Clothes all over the floor, papers strewn about and the week’s chores untouched. Naturally, I float over to the negative side but if I had taken a minute longer to assess the situation maybe I would have noticed the bed was made and homework was in progress. Looking at the positives instead of the negatives would take time for me.
When Katie was under age four she had the scream of an unearthly creature; it hurt my ears and made me angry. My group members suggested that she was endowed with the healthiest set of vocal cords or that perhaps in life she would be a great singer. (eye-rolling) Yeah, right, I didn’t buy that either, but it did get me to thinking. If the other parents could find positive things in any situation, then maybe I could too.
When Katie spilled her juice I thought about the time it would take to clean it up. I was in the middle of preparing supper and started to get upset. Then I remembered silly Raven at group and wondered what she would come up with. ‘The floor needed to be mopped at exactly moment?’ or ‘Just think of all the germs I’d kill while mopping.’
Immediately my mood began to change and thinking positive became a game.
When Chelsey called from school asking me to bring the forgotten homework, instead of getting upset over the inconvenience it caused me, I thought about the pleasant break from work on such a nice day.
Then when my schedule was changed to accommodate Katie’s friend coming over it became the day Katie would finally clean her room because a friend was coming over.
Oh, I still got angry occasionally but more and more I could circumvent a full-blown meltdown and get through the situation. Mood could be brought on by others but for the most part, mood is a choice.
What do you think? I’d love to hear how you manage upsets.