Wednesday, March 5, 2014
After over a week of James not going to Preschool (sickness and snow), the sun was finally out and our home was at last germ free. Our boys are typically early birds....like their parents (unfortunately), so we were all up and dressed by 830am ready for school. James was excited to go and see his favorite teachers and friends. As soon as we walked into the school doors, he held my hand a little tighter. In my head i was thinking, 'oh no.' As i was attempting to drop him off in his classroom, he would not step foot into the room. I negotiated. I even pleaded a little bit. He didn't budge. His awesome teacher offered to help. From experience of working as a teacher and nursery worker - it's best for the parents to leave and leave quick. That is what i did. He threw a fit, calling for me. I picked up Adam and headed for the hallway, not making eye contact with any parent who gracefully and easily dropped their kids off.
As i got Adam settled into his car seat, i sat in the car for a moment before pulling out of the parking lot. I was actually embarrassed. Now, i mind you this was not the first public fit thrown by my boys, nor was it the loudest. But for some reason i thought about my reaction more than his fit.
Why was i embarrassed? What am i showing my kids with this kind of reaction?
I always thought that if my kids threw tantrums that it was a reflection of my bad parenting. Sometimes kids throw fits because they are tired, hungry, scared, etc.
Even if i instill every ounce of wisdom and leading into their lives, they are still their own person. I am not saying that a fit should be rewarded or ignored. They should be a addressed privately. But don't wrap so much of your security in how your kids behave.
Instead of acting embarrassed toward my kid's mistakes, tantrums, or accidents....i still want to show unconditional love. I think we have forgotten what that word in titles.
UNCONDITIONAL - not subject to any conditions.
"If your initial response to your children reflects your personal embarrassment at their actions, you are communicating conditional, works-oriented acceptance."
I want to instill in my kids, that my love comes freely. I do delight and love it when they are on their best behavior, help out, or do something kind....but i can't base my love for them on those things. If i acknowledge them or tell them how much i love them only after they DO something good...what is that enforcing? That they need to work for my love.
So despite, my red mother face from this morning, i sat James down after school and talked with him about his fit at school. You can tell from his face that he was embarrassed too and knew what he did wrong. Then he said, "do you still love me...even when i do bad things?" Wow! It hurt to know he even thought this, but i was grateful for an awesome opportunity to love on him all the more. Discipline followed by hugs, kisses and i love yous....is one of the best things we can do for our kiddos.
I am realizing that just saying "i love you" is not enough....it has to be through our actions as well.