Mirror Mirror On The Wall

Ever have those days when your kids are perfect little angels, and you get all sorts of compliments from both friends and strangers alike? Those days when you feel like you could take your kids anywhere – a fancy restaurant, the symphony, a 5-hour plane ride. Yes, those days are the best. When you feel proud and happy and a tiny little inkling in your brain thinks “wow, I’m actually doing something right!” Those are the days when you pat yourself on the back for raising your kids right; for doing a good job. You look at your kids and see all the hard work you’ve put into them (in the form of discipline, manners, respect, and all the other good traits you want to rub off from you to your kids). You just can’t help but smile, right?

Well, flip the coin, and ever have one of those days when you literally want to disown your kids? I have to admit, I’ve never gone as far as to have those thoughts (well, maybe not that I remember…), but I know how parents can get to that. I’ve had those days when everything I’ve ever taught my kids about *see above* seems to have gone out the window. WTF? What happened to my perfect little angels?

I also have to admit (sorry for the confessional today) that it’s mainly my older son who has the “dual personality.” My younger one just isn’t old enough to understand everything yet – but I’m prepared for that day (as much as I can be). It’s funny as I am writing this and look back on the phrase “dual personality” I just have to laugh. My whole point of this post is completely summed up in that phrase. You’ll see why in a minute… patience.

So, your kids are having a “moment.” The kicking, screaming, whining, completely melting down kind of moment. The kind where it is just impossible to get through to them; where you have to just walk away because any attempt at calming them down, let alone talking to them simply exasperates the situation. I am lucky. Most of these moments for me happen at home.

Once, I had to diffuse a moment in the grocery store, and with all eyes looking at me (you know the feeling, hundreds of pairs of burning eyes penetrating through the air, staring right at you with that evil sympathetic look of “why can’t you control your child?”) I eventually got out to the car and called my husband to “come quick to the parking lot of Safeway!” By the time my husband got there (a long quick 10 minutes later) everyone was all better and he was questioning why he even had to rush there in the first place. Um, sorry Hon, it really was necessary at the time I called.

What I have begun to learn from these “moments” is that when my kid is acting up, misbehaving or whatever, generally it is a behavior that he has learned from watching someone else. I know that some of these behaviors he learns at school (and there’s really nothing I can do about it, other than address them and discuss with him why it’s not okay to do or say that which he just did), but mostly, the person he’s around the most is me. So where does he learn to raise his voice? Me. Where does he learn to be stubborn? Me. Where does he learn to express his frustration or get a mean face or roll his eyes or say “fine!” or…???  He learns it from me (It’s like that commercial on tv – “I learned it from watching you, Daddy.”). Yes, that’s a hard one to swallow – gulp.

What I’m trying to say is that our kids are a reflection of us – good or bad. We all want to believe our kids are perfect all the time; that they listen, are patient, are smart, have good manners and play well with others. Well, are WE perfect all the time?! I’m pretty sure I don’t need to elaborate on this one.

I’m a Gemini. I’m not a super astrological person, but I do believe that my “sign” is uncannily spot on. A Gemini’s symbol is ‘The Twins’ – which could be interpreted to mean having a “dual personality.” Ah ha, now do you get it? When I said above that my son has a dual personality, I didn’t mean it in a medical, psychological way (and I certainly have no intention of making light of those people who legitimately suffer from it), I meant in a one minute he is my perfect little angel, and the next he can be the brunt of my yelling and the cause of both of us in near tears.

I also have learnt that when I stop, take a breath, and re-engage in the “moment” with calmness and love, the “moment” seems to diffuse much quicker and I am able to actually talk to him without screaming or forcing him to sit and look me in the eye. My boys are quite smart (no, really they are – just like yours!) and they follow my cues. When I’m frustrated and tense, they are. When I’m calm and silly, they are. Whatever energy I’m putting out there, chances are they’re going to emit the same.

We all have friends or know someone whose kids are just crazy, off-the-wall hyper all the time. Ever stop to think about what their parents are like? I’m not judging or pointing fingers, just making an honest observation.

Next time your kids are acting like anything but the perfect little angels you know they can be, take a moment to see what’s going on with yourself. Is something causing you stress? Is there a reason why your energy might not be the most positive? I’m not saying that every time your child is bad or uncontrollable it’s because of you. Let’s face it, kids are kids and sometimes they will have a moment, for no logical reason. I’m simply saying that the overall behavior of how your child reacts to certain situations could be a reflection of how you react to the same or similar circumstances. If you’re always running around crazy busy, then it’s likely your kid will also mostly seem crazy busy. If you’re calm and peaceful, it’s likely your kid will also mostly seem calm and peaceful.

I really do feel blessed. I get to be home with my boys and together we are constantly learning. This lesson has turned out to be one that has taken a while to understand, but I see it every day and I do believe that our children are most definitely a reflection of us.

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About pamelazimmer

Pamela Zimmer is a #1 bestselling author and speaker, transforming her personal pain and experience of Postpartum Depression into her purpose and passion. Through her #1 bestselling book, Reclaim The Joy of Motherhood, and her mentorship program, The HAPPY Mommy Method™, Pamela guides mothers on a healing journey from battling their own Postpartum Depression to embracing motherhood with joy.

Posted on March 10, 2012, in General Parenting and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Now that my daughter is all grown up, my work is done. Or is it? Now I have two granddaughters who at times “gang” up on me. Sometimes I see red. Possibly TEN shades but I take a deep breath, sometimes bite my tongue and cross my fingers. When in my charge, they sometimes forget that I can be very single-minded. When I say NO, I mean no. So far, they back off once this has been pointed out. So far. They’re only four and eight. I’m not looking forward to know-it-all-teenagers though.

    Great post. Uplifting.

    • Well your work may not be 100% done, but at least you can give them back when you (or them) have had enough! 🙂 I think as long as we do our best, that’s all anyone can ever ask.
      And… for as many rough days as I might have with my boys, I have 10 times as many wonderful days!
      🙂

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