Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Live like there's no tomorrow

You can't live your life in fear. It's no way to live and gives others the upper hand on your life. But you also shouldn't live like you'll always have the chance to set things right with the people you love and care about.

The events last week at Virginia Tech sicken me. At the same time, I wonder how many of those killed thought that they had all the time in the world. How many said something in anger, not realizing their hurtful words would be the last they said to someone they care about?

Thinking about this has made me more conscious of my tone of voice when speaking to my family. Kids are generally not trying to piss people off. They are learning. Unfortunately a lot of the learning occurs when they make mistakes. But if they can't screw up around their family who love them without being made to feel that they are worthless because of a mistake (which are small in most cases), how will they have the confidence to venture out in the world?

I'm the first to admit that I yell at my kids more often than I should. I start out calmly telling them to stop doing something and the volume increases as they seemingly ignore me until I'm screaming at them. It's a fault of mine that I feel strongly that I need to obliterate.

I've been reading Fay's Love and Logic Magic For Early Childhood and attempting to use the information. They give great suggestions for dealing with the usual kid stuff that drives parents nuts. And it seems to work. In fact, it works better than yelling and everyone feels better at the end of the day.

If I should not be here tomorrow, I want my last words to my kids to be delivered in a loving and respectful tone. Because that's how I want to be treated, and so do kids. Maybe my last words would be corrective in nature, but they can be loving in tone. I will be assured that my kids will most likely know that I loved them, no matter what.

I shudder to think that my kids might remember their mommy having a tantrum more than their mommy lovingly reading them a book or even their mommy whispering "I love you" in their ears.

Too often, we say things in anger to cause another person to feel bad. Mostly, I think we say things like that because we're feeling poorly about ourselves.

I'm working on my own issues so that I don't burden my children or the rest of my family with them.

Because I love them that much.

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Anonymous said...

i also notice how my tone is so not friendly at times w/ my older one. i am soo much more patient w/#2 vs the first one. it seems like i have created a pattern w/ my yelling,she doesn't respond until i yell! u make such a good point-i have and want to change my world so that i can do my best for them. it would be a pity if in all my yelling that gets forgotten by all parties involved! seems like i yell more on days that i am short of time because i spent some extra time lounging and hanging out w/ my kids doing much of nothing-which i absolutely love. but then it backfires when they stay in that mode and i am ready to get going!
m's smiles around u show that she remembers all the "i love yous" u say.

Kara said...

I blogged about a topic similar to this recently. They undoubtedly will remember the good stuff about us...whether we think so or not.

Love and Logic is a great book. I may need to re-read it! You are right, their solutions are easy and they do work!

You are such a good mommy!

Mom Thumb said...

You are very insightful. I grew up with quite horrible parenting and did everything opposite when raising my kids. For the most part, I succeeded. You are to be commended for changing behviors in yourself that you don't like. And good luck, it's a hard job!

Harmonica Man said...

I agree it's good to be aware of how you present yourself to your kids. I've found myself regretting some things I've said to my kids in the heat of the moment.

Parenting is a balance. I also know families where the parents are SO relaxed that the kids have no boundries and are basically spoiled little @ssh*les.

No one ever said this was going to be easy!

Damselfly said...

"Too often, we say things in anger to cause another person to feel bad. Mostly, I think we say things like that because we're feeling poorly about ourselves." I hope I can remember this forever!

Enjoyed your post so much....

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