We do everything in our power to make sure our kids are safe, don’t we?
Our infants don’t sleep on their tummies, we fit the babies in their car seats, and we make sure our houses are “baby proof.”
As our children grow older, we teach them how to cross the street, how to ride a bike (with a helmet – safety first!), and to be wary of strangers.
But sometimes we end up coddling instead of teaching. We end up being the master of the word “Don’t” instead of “Do!”
There’s no doubt when kids are little they need our assistance, but as they grow older, they need to learn boundaries and that there are consequences for their actions.
A friend of mine once gave me some priceless advice. She said, “I say yes as much as I can, so when I say no, they know I mean it.”
Though she was talking about play dates and cell phones and saying yes to friends, introspectively I began to apply this to other things as well. I tried to apply her wisdom to things that happened around the house.
Instead of “don’t touch that!” I’d try to say, “Is that a good choice?” or Love and Logic’s favorite, “uh oh.” Sometimes it was successful, sometimes it wasn’t.
(Hint: Screaming, “Don’t touch that!” when your little angel has your favorite crystal vase already in his greasy little hands is not a good idea. It ends up in a million pieces anyway. At least from experience it did.)
But I noticed a change in me too. I slowly became more patient and more positive. It worked for quite a while, but one day I noticed I was getting away from it. “Don’t” showed up more often in my vocabulary, and with it a negative change in my children’s behavior. They became more combative with me. They listened less and seemed to take great pleasure in doing the opposite of what I had just asked.
I recommitted myself to finding that positive energy again.
Recently, my husband shared some information he read in a golf book. He said that the human brain responds immediately to “don’t.” If you’re a golfer, you’ll understand this next example.
Teeing up, the golfer notices there is water on the right. He says, “Don’t put it in the water.” And where does that ball end up? Exactly. Plop! Right in the water. My husband explained that our brains focus on the negative. So in the golfer example, it’s best to tell yourself what you DO want to do, not what you don’t.
WOW! Where was that research when my kids were all little? It explains why when I said “Don’t,” they went and did exactly what I just asked them not to do.
So my friend’s advice still stands firm. Be positive as much as you can, so when you have to say no, it means something.
I believe it applies to the crystal vase just as much as it does to a heart. If it’s precious, be quiet, be resourceful, and be positive.
Translation: Boo-boo Healer
We ache for our children don’t we?
When they fall and skin their knee, what is a child’s first reaction? Look to mom. Find mom. She will make it better. And we try with all our might. It is the first teaching of unconditional love.
It is hugely important for our children to know unconditional love. Each child experiences Divine love through the conduit of their parents’ first love. In fact, that is how a child learns to love. The measure in which they learn love and learn to love will be the measure by which they will be able to love as adults.
So in some respects, the job of Medical Assistant is more than just affixing a band-aid to a skinned knee. It is the ability to translate an unfathomable and incomprehensible value. If a mother can help heal a physical hurt and love beyond measure, then perhaps it is possible that One greater, Jesus, can heal the unseen wounds in our heart.
In other words, we teach hope. We teach faith. We teach compassion. We teach forgiveness. Is anything else more important?
Our children will grow. They will fall, they will hurt. And every time they do, all, we want to sweep them up into our arms and whisk them away from the big bad world. In our hearts we know such an endeavor is an illusion, but we try anyway.
Consider the following this weekend. Read one of the gospels and focus on the Passion of Jesus. Think of his mother and his Father.
Imagine Mary’s pain as she sees her son suffer. She stood at the cross helpless to do anything. She was human. She could not console. No band-aids would heal the wounds. But she could provide her presence.
Imagine the Father’s pain. He sent his Son on this mission. How painful was it to hear the words, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” How difficult was it to not want to reach out and save His Son?
And yet, without that ultimate sacrifice of the Son of God, we would not know the joy of everlasting life.
Lead your child to that hope, that faith, that compassion. Bring the promise of love, even when it hurts. The benefits are eternal.
It’s time for me to come to the party!
I’ve realized that all us moms need encouragement of a different kind! We need and deserve recognition that our job is the most important job on earth! It is true the pay is non-existent, and the rewards are beyond words, but let’s cut to the chase.
What happens when our children hit school age? We’ll be thinking about going back to work. In the meantime, we all need to determine what skills we bring to the table after years of “mothering.”
Therefore, I’ve come up with a more relevant theme:
Things We Can Put on Our Resumes
And I’m gonna start with a biggie!
TOXIC WASTE MANAGER
There are LOTS of diapers. Diapers R US. Did you know that babies on average go through 10 diapers a day? That’s 70 in a week and 315 in a month! Never mind the financial implications, consider how many times we wash our hands…or don’t!
Here’s the poll question of the week:
How many of us quickly change a diaper just to rush over and stir dinner? Be honest…
But the toxic waste doesn’t stop here. There are runny and bloody noses and all of our favorite…vomit. What? All the dads just ran out of the room…what is that? Chickens…
Let us not underestimate the importance of this job. Somebody has to do it and we’re it! So share your favorite stories on this blog and we’ll have a good laugh.
A few years back, I had a five year old, two year old and one year old while trying to sell our house. The real estate agent didn’t understand the concept of calling ahead, so I usually got about a ten minute time frame in which to vacate the premises. We were highly motivated to sell our current property because we had put a bid on another.
The phone rang and I let it go since I’m changing my 1 year old’s dirty diaper. As it went to the answering machine, I heard the realtor’s voice.
“We’ll be there in ten minutes. Sounds like you’re not home, so great!”
My one year old was on the floor, so I knew she was safe, but my two year old ran away from me with the phone so I ran after him. I was gone for 4 seconds. I returned to see my one year old scooting butt down over to the wall. She smeared the remaining poop that has not been smeared into the carpet onto the wall. But the fun part is that she had given herself a bit of a hair treatment with the same poop. All in 4 seconds.
And I had ten minutes. To get poop off the wall. Out of the carpet. And off the baby.
Turned on the shower, held my baby under the warm water, scrubbed out the poop. I slapped a diaper on and strapped all three kids into the car. I scrubbed the wall and the carpet but there was still a smell. No baking cookies were gonna help that stench! So I FeBreezed it and put the diaper pail over the slight remaining carpet stain…and I prayed.
The house sold, but not to those clients…I’m pretty sure.
So share your stories, cause I KNOW you have ‘em! Leave a comment, would love to see them!
And see you next week when we add another title to our resume!