Parenting is hard. Like, really hard. Some days you’re just happy that everyone is still alive at the end of the day. I’m not proud that I’m a parent who yells, but sometimes the anger and frustration of dealing with two children who don’t listen gets to be too much. And this little girl is the most pedantic child I’ve ever met. She will correct your grammar, pronunciation or word choice even when you’re yelling at her. It’s infuriating (and hilarious, but don’t tell her that).
But yelling will only get you so far (and, in my case, nowhere – but it feels necessary in the moment). Because I don’t actually LIKE being this kind of parent, I’ve decided to change. Sometimes, you forget that change is an option. We spend so much time wishing OTHER people would change that we forget that we are also capable of it. And, in fact, changing yourself is something you can actually do. It’s much harder (if not impossible) to change other people. “Be the change you wish to see,” and all that.
So please, wish me luck as I attempt to change my own knee-jerk reactions to the antics of my children. Going forward, I want to help my children learn from their mistakes, rather than being mad that I have another mess to clean up. I want to let my children make more of their own choices, and allow them deal with and learn from the consequences of those choices.
I need to remember that the goal of parenting isn’t to make happy, obedient children. The goal of parenting is to make happy, independent, free-thinking, problem-solving adults. It’s difficult to keep the end-game in mind when they’re grinding play dough into the carpet, but if I keep responding to their missteps with irritation and anger then they’ll learn “don’t make a mistake or you’ll make people mad.” While on the surface that seems like an ok lesson, it’s not preparing them for real life and how to deal with the consequences of their actions.
Changing oneself is always difficult, but it’s also incredibly rewarding when you succeed. Wish me luck, patience, and perseverance as I strive to turn these goblins of chaos into responsible, independent humans.