I am a person that really prides themselves on my patience. When my little ones are having a moment of uncertainty, maybe they aren’t sure what they want or need and their behaviours reflect their confusion.
Please note, I am in no way offering professional advise I am simply sharing my thoughts and experiences through my own research and experiences.
Children don’t have the skill set or coping mechanisms to perform under pressure, or handle difficult situations with ease and understanding.
In short, monkey see monkey do. How we handle ourselves in these moments of hard are how children learn to handle themselves in their moments of hard. But let me start out by saying all lose our cool, and we all have bad days where we might be short tempered or raise our voice when we could have taken more time to be there for our kids. But we must take responsibility for our poor reactions or lack of patience. I feel it’s really important as an adult to own your shit. And this should be implemented to your relationship with your kids. When you mess up, own it, take responsibility and apologise. Like you would your best friend. I’ve noticed that it’s easier to tell those 'white lies' to children, get out of the error and pretend you didn’t do it or it didnt go that way for them because maybe they won’t find out or you don’t want to deal with it. But how can you expect them to respect you and own their mistakes to you?
Practice it. Every day. Big or small. An example could be, “I just want to come and tell you I am sorry I raised my voice at you earlier and was inpatient toward you, I had a really hard day but that was not your fault and I should not have acted in that way. I will work on being better in the future” Clear communication. I have two beautiful young step daughters who have two loving homes, but with having two homes comes two sets of rules, two styles of mothering and sometimes their behaviour reflects these changes. Noticing how difficult this would be for say an adult working in 2 seperate offices with 2 seperate bosses, who have changes in work flow or cultural environment, it becomes obvious how tough this is for little ones. • Reminding myself they are the child and you and I are the adult. They are calling for my help right now. Children will mirror your behaviour too, so raising your voice in that moment of frustration for them makes it all the more difficult to get through to them. And in most instances the child raises their voice back at you. They want to be heard. • Come down to their level, and let them be emotional. Tell them they are safe, it is okay and you are here for them. I know sometimes it takes longer then others for my step daughters to calm down in moments of fear or hurt, but allowing them the space to feel all the feels really allows them to feel safe in that space with you. Just sitting with them and holding them until they are ready to communicate how they feel & why.
We all need our feelings to be validated. • ALWAYS take responsibility for your wrongs to your children. This is how they learn to take responsibility. We all have our parenting moments, recently I raised by voice in fear as one of my girls ignored my repeated instruction to stay holding the pram as I got the baby out in a busy car park, she was dancing and being silly and sure enough a car turning near her came closer then I were comfortable with. The car was going very slow, and she wasn’t at too much risk but it got close enough to cause my heart to sink and almost drop my son reaching for her. My raised voice frightened her and she felt she was in trouble. After we crossed the road I took responsibility for my actions, I apologized for raising my voice and explained that it came from a place of fear of her being hurt not a place of wanting to frighten her and she was so receptive in the moment and understood entirely. The heighened moment calmed straight away. We ALL have our moments. As adults, we wear multiple hats a day, most of us run a million miles and hour and when our kids mess up its easy to blame, yell, or snap, but it’s so important children see you giving them compassion even on the hard days. Showing kindness, even when they have been awful to you. Because - Monkey see, monkey do. I hope this comes to mind on the next occasion of 'hard' arises, take a deep breath mama and put yourself in your little ones shoes.
Practising patience & clear communication with our kids creates a positive flow in other areas of our lives, like the relationship we have with other partners. Our friendships.. and ourselves.