Be the Example

One of the hardest things for me as a mom is to listen to my kids argue.  Talk about hurt you to the core.  I don’t want the people I’ve carried inside me to not get along.  I’ve tried to instill the concept of family and to show them positive relationships, but I’ve come to the realization that arguing is part of relationships.  My kids are ages 8, 10, and soon to be 12.  That’s close in age and it definitely wasn’t planned.  But the added benefit (or so I thought) is they’d be the best of friends.  I always wanted a sibling close in age that I could talk to, hang out with, and have us just be best friends.  As a mom, I wanted this for my kids too.

As I sit here in my bedroom, my oldest daughter is yelling so loudly at her siblings.  My first thought is to yell back and tell her to quit yelling.  But then I had a thought….is she yelling because that’s what I typically do?  Has she learned my behavior?  Ouch!  That hurt!  It took everything in me to remain silent.  But my thought is that they will need to learn how to resolve conflict and work through their own frustrations and work on their sibling relationship.  I cannot force them to be best friends.  They have to develop that by themselves.  After about 5 minutes of yelling, it quieted down and there is calm again.

Believe it or not, children can teach you a lot about yourself.  My lesson for today is that I’m too loud!  Normally, my excuse for being loud is because I’m from the country.  When I say country, I mean only one caution light in my hometown, country.  I mean, at least a field between most of the homes on my street.  I mean, yell across the street at your neighbor, country.  So I’m used to yelling and my voice carrying.  Plus, growing up, we always had extra people in the house, so there were multiple conversations going on.  You had to kinda be loud.  That’s transferred to my adult life and I’m now seeing I don’t like the yelling so much.  Sure, there are times when it calls to be loud, but I never thought about my kids picking up that trait.  So I’m more aware of that now and I’m trying to break it from my kids, myself, and my home in general.  I don’t want them to be under the allusion that yelling will make someone listen, because it won’t.

A few weeks ago, I took a training class at work called Crucial Conversations.  That class really made me more aware of how I’m talking and listening.  I don’t want to be known as the mom with the high octave voice.  I want to be loving, gentle, kind, forgiving, caring, firm, fair.  Some training comes not by saying ‘do this‘ or ‘do that‘.  I have to be the example.  They’ve got to see me do what I’m telling them to do.  How can I tell them not to yell if I’m yelling.

My oldest is a little mini me.  She wants to be the mom, the leader, the one in charge.  So, I try to impress upon her the importance of being the example to her younger siblings.  Trust me, it’s not always easy being the example.  Sometimes you don’t want to be.  Unfortunately, regardless of what you want, it happens.  So live like everyone’s watching.  Make good choices.  Do your best.  I want to be the example of a great mom!

If you can relate, please like and share!

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