Nobody is perfect. Change is hard. Changing oneself even harder. Being a work in progress is hard because there are days you want to quit. Especially when your environment, community, and society does not support you in the changes you are trying to make.
Nobody is perfect. Anyone who says so is lying to themselves and others.
I am not asking myself for perfection. I can’t be perfect but I am asking myself for better.
I am a yeller and I come from a family of yellers. I want to do better. I have yelled at my preschooler and I have seen fear flash in her eyes. I was projected back to my own childhood and my own fear.
I cannot do that to her and expect to be her home school and life teacher with respectful behavior. We seem to forget, in this world, that the Golden Rule goes both ways.
What I hear a lot from others, not just parents is pushing the blame “But HE, SHE, THEY did xyz”. How children and other people are somehow responsible for our emotional response. How it is someone else’s fault that we yelled, hit, threatened, destroyed, manipulated, complained, cried, etc. That is our choice. There is no excuse for the blame. You did it, no one else MADE you have that emotional response. I am guilty as well and I am working hard to change. It’s called being an adult and taking responsibility. Yep me included.
One of the reasons I yell is because my needs are unmet. I can go days without eating, sleeping, drinking water or showering before I am a powder keg that is lit. I say nothing because my household of people gets grumpy if I ask for these basic things, but I have learned that that is THEIR emotional response to my request, not my problem. I have trouble bothering people for help and it doesn’t help me stay calm cool and collected. I am working on this too. To communicate my needs before I blow and get grumpy. Because I realized I am modelling behavior. If my child sees that it is ok to neglect herself at the expense of others what message is that sending? Not a good one. Not one that is going to grow a strong woman who asserts herself. I can talk until I am blue but it is my ACTIONS that she will remember.
Especially important, and this was a lightbulb moment, around children. Children learn by modelling behavior. What behavior are you modelling? How are you showing emotional intelligence? Are you yelling? Then why do you think your child puts up such a fight about everything? And where do you think they get it from? Mhmmm. (easy to forget)
What do we learn from physics? Energy can neither be created or destroyed. I have found this to be true. Even after the argument or yelling is over the negative energy in the air is palpable. It hangs there. And I find that if I yell I am more likely to yell the next time I am frustrated. I also find that my child screams and yells more at me the more we yell back at her. It’s a cycle. I am trying to stop this cycle. It is one of the hardest things I have ever done in my life. It is changing a core character part of myself and how I react to situations. How I channel my emotions. YES I still express anger but now I am forced to talk about it so I don’t hold it in. Surprisingly this has created a positive change. I am growing closer to my spouse and to my children by working together toward a common goal. We talk about being a team a lot. We are a team, we hope to be a very well-coordinated team well into the future. I want my children to have GREAT memories of childhood, reasons to want to come back home, and a model for parenting their own children.
If no one else believes in me, at least I BELIEVE IN ME.