Monday, April 11, 2011

Would I Like Me?

Have you ever thought what you look or sound like when disciplining a child?

I've seen some parents stand erect, hands on their waist, looking scornfully down at their child through an angry red-faced grimace. To tell you the truth, that'd intimate me!

I've seen some parents and childcare providers grit their teeth and force each word out their terse lips as if they were a pressure cooker about to blow. Yikes, that'd frighten me!

When my girls were young, there were days it seemed as if everything they did got on my last nerve. Whether it was them, me, the weather, or PMS, I wasn't a very nice mom and did my share of emotional disciplining. One day, I went into my bedroom after an "episode" and glanced in the mirror. The person looking back was an angry, unloving woman. She doesn't look like anyone I'd want to be around, I thought. And probably my girls felt the same way. Sad.

From that day forward, I've tried to look and sound more self-controlled and to be someone I'd want to be around. I never want my children to comply simply out of fear or intimidation. Rather, I want to be approachable so I can help my children be teachable.

How about you - when disciplining, would you like to be around yourself? Think about it today.

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Cindy Thomson said...

Wow, that's a convicting thought. Good to keep in mind no matter who is getting on your last nerve.

Sandy Fowler said...

I had those experiences too when my girls were young but I never thought of it that way Brenda. I knew I had to parent from a place of calm or nothing worked so on those days, or when the emotions were escalating, I gave myself a "time out". I went to my room, closed the door, and took a few minutes to breathe and find the calm (and I guess it let me look all pretty again too :)

Parenting Expert Brenda Nixon said...

Sandy, I used to "time out" myself, too, when I was so frazzled I couldn't calmly confront & correct my daughters' behavior.