Monday, January 10, 2011

Little Mirrors

And now it is time again for "reflections on motherhood," by me, the expert on all things parenting.  (For those of you you who don't know me well, that was written with a heavy dose of sarcasm...)

I have discovered that I hold special powers in my home.  One of these special powers is the power to influence every other person's mood/attitude.  It's true.  Only Matt is slightly immune to my powers (he must have a potion for it or something.)  

Lately, I have been finding that when I am happy, positive, and upbeat, everyone is happy, positive, and upbeat!  It really is amazing how just "being happy" myself makes my boys happy.  If a fight breaks out or tempers start to flair, all I have to do is do or say something goofy and step in and be a part of things in a fun way and suddenly, the mood has lightened and everyone is moving on, and, most likely, laughing.  There is rarely a fight or lack of harmony when I am actually actively involved in the game of the moment.

When Jack is fussy and nothing I give him seems to work, I find just wrestling and laughing with him restarts him and defuses the whine.  Telling him to stop whining has never worked.

When Ben and Mitchell have run out of things to do and are driving everyone crazy, I just have to stop being annoyed, switch gears, and play with them and their mood instantly changes!  Telling them to play nicely or "be a little quieter" never works.

Now that I reflect on it, I cannot think of a time when I tried to fix an attitude by adding humor or silliness along with personal involvement and it hasn't worked!

This power is amazing to talk about, but much harder to actually wield sometimes.  Selfishly, I want to be grumpy or annoyed or tired of playing mommy.  I don't actually want to act goofy or silly.  I often prefer to pretend my kids are just annoying and there is nothing I can do about it, so I might as well do something else and just long for bedtime.  

This is where my super-power shows its negative side, unfortunately.  Where I have the power to change negative to positive, I also have the power to turn happy kids into whiney, grumpy, annoying, on-edge kids.  It is on my selfish days that I snap at them for running around or for growling like dragons (apparently, they can actually understand each other in this language, but to me, it is just noise - LOUD noise!)  It is times like this, where I change the mood of the room from playful into stressful, and I will hesitantly say, this happens more than I like to admit.

My boys are a mirror of me in so many ways.  When I am having a good time and am positive, they mirror me.  When I display poor coping skills and am easily annoyed, they mirror me there too.  When I shout when frustrated at them, they mirror me and shout at each other in similar circumstances.  They learn how to react and how to behave mostly from me still.  They learn positivity and harmony, or the lack of, from how I interact with my family.  If I find a troublesome pattern in any one of them, perhaps I need to look in the mirror a bit more myself and see what my reflection is telling me there.  

1 comment:

  1. Strange, but I have noticed this same phenomenon with my girls. Thanks for putting it so clearly though and good luck with avoiding the negative side. Julie



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