Hello, my name is Annalisa and I am a "reactor". When my children ask for something or whine about something or try and negotiate something I throw out my "no" like Ninja stars. At times I'm tempted to shut them down before they even have an opportunity to ask. If...hahahaha yeah IF!...ahem...WHEN an altercation takes place between two of my children I quickly jump in instead of taking a moment to reflect. How can I hope to break the habit of "impulsive parenting"?
A lovely grandmother, who is raising her grandchildren, recently read an article about French mamas. The part that struck her, and me, was that French mamas tend to take a minute or two to reflect before responding to their children. There is more to what she told me than that, but that was the part that stood out the most. How might my mama-ing be different if I took and automatic 1-2 minutes? I had to try it out. (here's one news report about it. http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/lifestyle/2012/02/parenting-the-french-way-is-it-better/ )
Now, this has just been a few days AND my impulsive mama-ing is not going down without a fight BUT what I am noticing is even though my children's behavior isn't changing a whole lot, yet, I am finding a few seconds can change the heart of a mama.
I think we all go through times where we find ourselves challenged by a particular child. Any wrong done or line crossed seems to be intentional. Most of us have also allowed totally non-child related stressors to influence our mama responses.
Today one of my sons was being "saucy". Before I could even speak to him he was giving attitude and being snarky. Normally I would have called him on his attitude and disciplined him. The discipline may have been earned, but if I had reacted at that moment it would have been out of an angry mama heart. Mindfully taking that moment I found I calmed down and was able to respond.
I know I have written about this before and I have had my successes and failures, but I so want to master this I'm writing about it again because motherhood is about never giving up. This time I have let my children know that I may not answer them right away when they ask something. They know I may send them to their rooms to cool off before I listen to their version of what happened.
I'll keep you posted and maybe, if this is a challenge in your life, we could join together as we climb over this parenting obstacle. Let us embrace the joy of motherhood. It just takes a minute...or two :)