Parenting, like every other aspect of life, is filled with ups and downs. Each day can be a little bit like the movie “Groundhog Day”; we do the same things each day but how we approach them affects how we feel at the end of the say. Some mornings I wake up grumpy…and if I don’t change my attitude I will be grumpy all day. I will be grumpy when my children whine about their homework. I will be grumpy when they drag their feet doing chores. I will be grumpy when I walk into the bathroom to find that one of my boys has yet again forgotten to flush the toilet (this happens often in our home).
The biggest secret I can offer to navigate the ups and downs of parenthood (and any other aspect of life, for that matter) is to watch and make changes to your attitude. We can only do so much to change our children’s behavior, and that is a slow process. But how we approach their behavior not only affects how we feel at the end of the day, but a positive attitude helps you to keep calm and be more effective at discipline.
While being cheerful constantly can be almost impossible (at least for me, if you have figured out the secret to being cheerful all the time, please share!); recognizing the times when your attitude is making a bad situation worse can really help your day run smoothly. If you can react calmly to a crisis (aka bathroom covered in toothpaste) and discipline without losing control (aka screaming and yelling) you can more effectively teach (and model) proper behavior. I often notice my children losing patience with one another more often during times when I too lose my patience more often. (They truly are little mirrors, aren’t they?).
Navigating the ups and downs of parenthood can feel overwhelming at times, but taking the time to evaluate our attitudes and reactions can help smooth the path. While we will never be able to completely eliminate the frustrations, we can make them easier to handle.