Seth-boy and Daddy are camping this weekend, so it’s just Momma and Cameron. We’re supposed to be making applesauce and apple butter, but I thought it would be a nice time to sit down with my coffee and type. 🙂
We’ve been dealing with some interesting attitudes in Seth the past couple of weeks, and the other day I realized he gets a lot of his personality from myself; impatience, first-born perfectionism, he easily gives into frustration, selfishness and love of chocolate. Now the chocolate and the perfectionism in themselves aren’t bad things, but too much chocolate and one gets sick and being to much of a perfectionist can lead to anger and low self-esteem. I know in myself, if things do not go the way I want them to, I get angry and then I start getting grumpy and we all know what happens when mommas get grumpy. Bad days! Other times there are things that I want to try, a new recipe, knitting, or sewing some adorable little thing for one of my boys, but the fear of failure keeps me from even beginning.
I was thinking yesterday about ways we see ourselves reflected in our children. And this thought popped into my head:
I am not really as grown up as I thought. My children are God’s way of pointing out the area’s that I need to work on. They wear on my patience, make me angry, and “control” my attitude. In reality, it is not their fault, it is my own fault. I am not putting off the old man and acting like the new creature that I am in Christ. I am the one giving in.
Here are some other ways that adults act like toddlers:
Being unkind to others– “Do you want me to do that to you?” I asked Seth this question a couple of weeks ago when I found him sticking his feet in Cameron’s face. I had already told him several times that morning to be nice to Cameron and this was the final straw. Of course, Seth had to answer yes, so over I went ready to stick my feet in his face. Ben saved Seth by grabbing my arm and saying “Don’t you think you really should act older than the toddler?” The true lesson that I wanted Seth to learn was to treat others how he would like to be treated. If I had followed through with my threat what would that have taught him after all? It wasn’t the act that was really so bad, it was the heart issue. If I had simply stuck my feet in his face this wouldn’t have addressed the fact that in his heart he wasn’t being kind. Now, I didn’t realize the problem with this until after the episode, but next time I will be prepared to examine the real heart issue.
Pouting and whining when we don’t get our way– Here is where selfishness comes into play. If I have all these plans in my head for the weekend and say nothing about them to Ben, but simply think that they are going to happen, and then Ben comes to me and asks to do something else I generally agree and let him do what he wants. Then after he has gone I find myself pouting and whining internally about how he “never” does what I would like, etc and then spend the whole rest of the day in a sour mood. The days that this scenario happens and I tell him what I was thinking about doing we usually figure out how to plan the day so that both of us accomplish what we wanted to for the weekend. Toddlers are very well-known for throwing fits when they don’t get what they want right away (impatience), if you can’t understand what they are saying (miscommunication) and when their schedules get messed up. As parents we need to show our children the proper way to handle these situations. We need to wait with happy heart, communicate clearly with others and learn to be flexible and go with the flow.
Acting out of anger – Lately Seth has been getting very angry with Cameron because Cameron is now able to take Seth’s toys. Or Cameron will touch something that Seth decides Cameron shouldn’t touch, or go somewhere Seth doesn’t want him to go. In some of these instances Seth allows his anger to overcome him and acts out against Cameron. Very often, because I don’t have the worlds largest supply of patience, I find myself doing the same thing while disciplining. I will tell Seth several times to do things, or not to do things, not correct him immediately when he does or does not do as told and then act out in anger against him when I’ve had it! Yes, there may be an obedience problem that we need to correct, but yelling is not going to solve the problem; if anything it is reinforcing that I won’t do as I say the first time and Seth only needs to wait until I get to a certain temperature before doing as asked. It also shows him that acting in anger is how to solve things. It is never, ever okay to act out in anger. It doesn’t matter who you are, your position, your authority, etc. Anger does not solve problems.
Acting like a grump because I feel like it – Sometimes after nap, Seth is a bear. We can cuddle, read, be quiet, whatever I think of to try to distract him and cheer him up and it just doesn’t work. In these instances he gets put back in bed because he is having a bad attitude. There are days I wish I could go back to bed to fix my attitude, however, that is highly unlikely, unless it is the weekend and Ben is home. Just because we are PMS-ing, needing a caffeine fix, didn’t get the things done we wanted to, found out we need to cut the budget even further, had a flat tire on the way to work, we don’t get a free pass for having a bad attitude. Life goes on, so must we. Get over whatever reason you think you have to deserve having a bad attitude and move on. Be happy, look for the little blessings God sends and be thankful.
Can you think of other ways we as mothers act as toddlers? How do you help your child to get over their bad attitudes?