It’s like riding a bike…unless you don’t actually know how to in which case it’s more like advanced geometry or something equally as hard. I spent the better part of…toooooo long, trying to get Gabby (my almost 7 year old) to ride a 2 wheeler. After many deep breaths, partially due to the fact that it’s easy to get winded while running holding onto a bike and mostly because of my frustration level, we conceded around bedtime. The good news is that once you learn, it’s like riding a bike. Unless, of course, you are an almost 9 year old who never actually practices riding his bike. Drew, my oldest, is the Tasmanian devil on the bike and repeatedly frustrated and agitated while doing so. I wonder where he got that attitude?
Somewhere between the urge to walk into traffic due to frustration and the satisfaction of her actually being close to getting it, I realized that this is my opportunity to teach my children how to emotionally handle a challenging situation. If I walk away prematurely frustrated by trying to teach them, I’m showing them that they don’t need to work hard through issues to learn invaluable skills. I’m exhibiting a negative approach that they may apply towards everything from school to social situations. Deep breath, deep breath. So we kept at it. I bit my lip more, smiled more and charged through it at all costs.
The irony is that I didn’t always have this attitude, frankly I think I just discovered it last night. So I watched my oldest (my rough draft at parenting) who was agitated and argumentative while trying to perfect his skill set. I often wonder if why I get so upset with him is that he is exhibiting some of my worst qualities. As I saw his behavior, I started to bring it all full circle. My approach to circumstances is going to effect these little sponges. The more calm and patient I am, I am teaching them to approach things similarly.
There are certainly instances where I react and think later, sadly more often than not. But unless I want my kids walking through life doing the same thing, I’m going to have to work on putting my best foot forward in most circumstances. I may have found success in my life with these shortcomings – having a short fuse, little patience, etc. – but I have been able to not let these negative attributes get in my way. My children may take this negative skill set and apply to things in their lives that cause them damage – school, activities, friends, etc. And that would be damaging to their lives which is the last thing I would want for them.
We’re running late…no sweat! Drew is rushing through homework and making mistakes…easy peasy! Gabby is pestering Noah to no end…redirect city! Life deals you lemons…bring on the lemonade stand! Alright, this isn’t going to happen overnight but baby steps. And luckily for Gabby, I decided to embrace these even keel attitude while teaching her to ride 2 wheels!