Thursday, April 8, 2010

Seasonal Change

We have truly entered into Spring. My sinuses are really feeling the transition i.e. runny/itchy nose and eyes...Grrrr! If I am not careful, I can get a sinus infection. Not ready for that...obviously.

I am happy to say, after my youngest son, 15 years old, and I had a long disagreement on monday evening, he has improved in his morning routine, drastically! What a relief, at least for! He has been ready to walk out the door on time in the morning. He has actually began moving faster. Yesterday, when I arrived at the school to pick him up, I arrived 10 mins early. Low and behold, there he was! WOW! We have been tug-o-warring over this issue, of him being out and in on time, for a very, very long time!

Yes, I praised him over and over again. I told him how proud I was of him too! He said he likes it when I "talk" to him rather than become so angry and "yell" at!

He said, what helped him was when I asked him, "What do you need to be on time?" Although I did not ask that question from the perspective of my last blog entry, apparently, his interpretation was different. I was asking what he needed in terms of gathering his track equipment, notebooks, backpack, clothes ironed and layed out, etc. so that he can have minimal things to do in the morning or even after school, to be on time.

His answer was, "I need you to help me." I actually became kinda sad when I looked into his eyes. He was on the verge of crying from frustration. Yes, this calmed me down. I asked, "What do you want Mom to do?" He said, "Help be figure it out, figure out why I'm not getting it." By this time, the cry was in his voice, his eyes were teary and red.

By the end of the conversation, we came up with writing down things he needs to remember and having him come home in his track clothes to save time (I have to pick him up inbetween parents coming to pick up their kids. I only have a short window of time). We also thought about buying him a watch, rather than him using his cell phone, so he can keep better track of the time when he is on the track field.

So far, the past few days have been really changed...:-D. Communication is awesome!

A Changed Way of Thinking

These days, I'm trying to change the way I view the tougher situations in my life. Rather than allowing my emotions to lead me in a negative way by getting upset or irritated, I try to slow down my thoughts to a better understanding of the situation...this is very effective with the kids! Kids will be kids. They are going to make messes, mistakes, etc. It is much more difficult with adults!!

For example. In my daily routine of running the daycare, with 8 kids!, conflicts happen, toys spill, kids are naturally loud & active, kids cry, etc. All of this is just part of being a kid. Nonetheless, I begin to feel overwhelmed and anxious. You can't stop a kid from being a kid so, I have to "rethink" my avenue of handling my anxiety. I stop, think and break down the situation from the "child's" perspective, NOT mine. This provides for a better understanding of what/how things happened. Then I take a deep breath, calm myself down and proceed to take action. It takes practice, but it is totally effective!!

I'm also applying this technique to the bills, house cleaning, communication with my kids, etc. The thing is, when dealing with young adults or adults, a lot of the time we/they are just not thinking about the effects of their actions on other people. We tend to only think about ourselves. By nature, I think we are selfish. So, rather than "go off" on my own kids, who are 22, 20, 18 and 15 years old, I stop, think and ask them a question. Usually, once I hear "their" reasoning via explanation, my emotions deflate and I calm down immediately. Then I am able to "talk" to my kids rather than scold and yell at them. Communication is far better! What's even better is, by my calming down and asking a question, my kids express more and they too calm down. Now don't misunderstand me, young adults can do some really "stupid" things. There are times where a parent is required to get upset!!

Interesting how one individual can affect so many others just by changing ones own behavior or response to any given situation. All that negative emotion is not necessary. It only makes the one doing the expressing more agitated and transfers that to the next person.

Just think what kind of world it would be if we all stopped to think about how we respond to other people....hmmm...interesting.