Lessons learned from little ones

This may be stating the obvious, but one of the hardest things about being a parent is being a parent. There are times when I’m feeling frustrated or upset or low on energy and everything in me wishes I could react like a child. I have to rally myself in those moments, take a deep breath and remember I’m not the child, my kids are.

season change
I’m pretty sure kids learn the most by following in our footsteps and the example we set. This is probably the most challenging thing because our words and actions really have to line up.

I’ve come to realize that the best thing I can do for my kids is to respond to their childishness as a mature adult. Sounds easy, right! In the heat of emotional stress, this is the hardest thing to do. While everything in me is screaming inside, “why!?”, everything on the outside is super calm and intentional.

Edie on a bad day. I'm sure she'll hate me for posting this when she's older, but this is how I feel on the inside when she's having a meltdown.
Edie on a bad day. I’m sure she’ll hate me for posting this when she’s older, but this is how I feel on the inside when she’s having a meltdown.

Some days feel longer than others. At the end of a day full of meltdowns, it can be super draining. I’ve noticed that even when all my external responses have been adult-like and soothing, I’m exhausted from suppressing my initial gut reaction to whine, cry, and have my own meltdown. Let’s just be real – when my kids are acting like babies (which is what they are!) all I want to do is to curl up on a couch and be a baby myself.

Here’s the thing, while I’m teaching and training my kids how to manage their behavior and emotions, they’re teaching me more about myself and I’m growing more in self-control than I ever thought I would. At the end of the day, it’s more about our own growth as individuals and how we respond to situations rather than attempting to change or react to others around us, whether they’re kids or adults!