Parenting is one of the most rewarding experiences a person will ever go through. From the miracle of birth all the way to hearing Pomp and Circumstance played by a college band, there is so much to be thankful for, so much that our child has given to us simply by coming into our lives. But, there are those moments, which we will someday look back on with smiles and laughter (and tell their significant other about them during the graduation reception) that perhaps weren’t as sweet.
Many parents will look back and think about a difficult child-rearing moment and regret the way they themselves acted. It’s so easy to lose our temper as a parent and say or do something that we wouldn’t normally recommend. As a parent of a young child, realize that you will remember the moment, you will remember what your child did, and you will remember how you responded… but you won’t see a naughty little child. You will smile at the recollection because you forgave them moments after and giggled about it days later. The tricky part is that you may not be proud of how you reacted.
When the milk spills, the lamp breaks, or something gets flushed down the toilet, STOP, take a breath, walk away and calm down. Realize, before you go back to your child, what is the real reason you are frustrated and upset. Don’t take it out on your child. Try to see it from the perspective of their little hearts and minds.
When you’ve taken stock of your feelings, go back, clean up, and have a calm chat with your child about being a little more careful. They love you, they don’t want to make you mad, and you don’t want to have any regrets when thinking of those moments, just laughter.