I had one of those moments today.
When a theory suddenly clicks into place and becomes a new paradigm to live by. It’s common sense, nothing fancy, something I thought I already knew. It was a moment where I bridged the gap between my idealism and real life practice. The parenting experts (you know the ones) tell us we have to model the behaviour we want to see in our children. I agree with this, I’ve even mentioned it a few times throughout this blog. It makes sense, you’re probably nodding your head, ‘yes modelling…very important’.
I figured I was kind to people. I’m an adult, so of course I know how to share with friends, husband, children. I certainly don’t go around biting people when they annoy me. Despite a few short-comings, I’m a model citizen for Curly to look up to. But Curly is not an adult. She’s three. My direct interactions with her are the primary teaching and modelling ground. I need to treat her as I want her to treat others. This came to me as I attempted some budgeting on the computer and a whining voice in the back ground pestered away, “Mum, mum, mummy, mum, look. Mum! I’m hungry, mum.” All too frequently I may have turned around and sternly (perhaps a bit too loudly) told her to ‘wait! Be patient!’ Or ‘go play in your room for a bit!’ Today I asked myself, what if Curly were me and it was another three year old annoying her…how have I taught her to respond? With that in mind I turned around and with a smile said calmly, “Stop please, I’m working at the moment and need you to leave me alone for a bit.”
And that was it. “If Curly were me, how would I like her to respond to this unreasonable child.” Be the three year old.
Why it’s taken me so long to transfer that knowledge into a genuine outward expression I do not know, but I’m hoping that through this Curly can learn to be patient with her own friends and treat them how mum treats her.