DD is now practically a teenager, all grown up. She’s been a sweet child, curious and active and loving, and I think the only time I really despaired was when she was four, and had the tendency to bite people she found disagreeable. After that, my trepidations have always been swept away, and she’s turned out rather well, even though I say so myself.
One of the lovely things about her is her sense of responsibility. She’s pretty organized and meticulous about her stuff. For my niece’s wedding last year, she was the only one who had her clothes AND accessories packed in order of the ceremonies we would be part of, a full week in advance! I never have to remind her to do stuff, her room and closet are always far neater than mine will ever be, and she’s on her school work, whether it’s projects or homework, even before I know what it’s all about. She’s even become self-disciplined enough to turn off the TV at the regulated time on school days and go to bed at the right time, without any prompting whatsoever from us. Little wonder that I have very little to complain about when other parents are moaning about their children!
Even so, there are days when things flare up. If there’s one thing she really dislikes, it’s studying – no surprises there. Unfortunately, this is the one thing I insist on, since there’s a lot riding on it for her. I don’t really care about the marks, per se, but I would like to see her make a sincere effort, and that’s all I push her to do. If you know me, I like balance in everything, so work-while-you-work, play-while-you-play is what I try to enforce.
Most of the time, the pushing works, but sometimes, (like a couple of days ago), I lose my temper. I end up ranting and she sinks into a deep sulk, and things spiral downwards from there. It’s never pleasant, I hate myself, and nothing good comes out of it at the end.
But of late, I’ve been asking myself a single question that’s made all the difference, and has stopped me from becoming the kind of mom I hate.
The question I ask myself is simply this: Would I stop loving her just because she didn’t do [whatever she was supposed to do]?
The answer I get is, of course, a resounding NO! It immediately makes me change my perspective. I stop ranting and give myself a time-out. I interact with her once again only when I am certain that all the negative feelings have vanished, and I am the mom I would like to be.
It’s worked wonders so far. Every time I have stopped ranting and have become more loving, DD responds far more positively.
Your child is a constant source of joy. Just learn to look lovingly.