Roller Coaster Parenting

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Doesn't it feels sometimes that parenting is like riding a roller coaster? One minute my boys are having so much fun playing together and laughing out loud with joy, and the next minute a crisis boils up when one pulls a toy away from the other. Suddenly, there is crying, complaining and corporal fight. What am I supposed to do?

As much as the boys learn from each other, I learn from them. And in the past days I have been trying to remember that the most important lesson of all is to enjoy the ride. Is the roller coaster up? Enjoy the fun! Is the roller coaster down? Use the crisis as an opportunity to teach them something. Easier said than done, but much easier done if my emotions don't get in the way.

A few years ago I read a book that still talks to me called Screamfree Parenting. It basically tells you that the only emotions you are able to control are yours, and controlling them (versus screaming like a lunatic!), allows you to focus on the problem and to deal with it without "losing it". Besides, you can become an example to the children on how to deal with problems in a calm and reasoned way.

To look into the big picture also helps. To see that moment of crisis not as a bump on the way, but as a great opportunity to teach them about sharing, about respecting each other, about loving with their actions. Because at the end is not about me, if I am being annoyed by kids crying in the other room. It is about embracing parenting as a beautiful full time job.

I read somewhere that when Michelangelo was asked how did he carve David from one block of marble, he answered that he looked at that block of marble and saw David, and then he just carved away everything that was not David.

Isn't parenting a lot like that? Carving our children with love to show the person they are meant to be!