Oh my! Today was not my best 'mothering' day. You know those days when you feel like you go out of your way to make sure the kids will have fun, get out of the house, and yet at every turn it seems they are fighting? Or ungrateful? Today was that day for me! (And no, I'm not the mom always trying to appease my kids, but I do know what they need in order to have a good day. Exercise/outdoor time is vital. We don't have a yard so daily I must include a trip to the park, pool, friends house, or beach! Which we did today!)
I think sometimes we think that 'other' moms must have everything under control. We see them on the days that the kids are behaving and we internally wonder how they have such 'good' kids. But the thing is, on any given day you may not know what you will get. And notice the label I mentioned, 'good' kids. I think sometimes I expect my kids to always be good. As if childhood is a time for perfection rather than a time of learning. I need to first see days like this for what they are, 'days' like this. My boys are amazing. And this isn't normal behavior from them. And secondly, I need to remind myself that this is a time for me to teach into these issues. If all my kids ever did was act perfectly because they knew they would get in trouble, then I would never get to teach into the real emotions they are facing. And teach them how to deal with the emotions.
So today I asked Joshua what he thought was up with Zachary and how he thought we could help him process. Joshua's answer? Something to the effect of- I think he's missing Daddy and when he misses daddy he wants to wrestle and hit because he's sad and mad that he's gone. It's true. Zac feels emotions very strongly, and when Chris is gone he can become very angry and defiant. I need to counter that with understanding and lots of one on one time. NOT with getting frustrated back at him for his acting out. I need to teach him to acknowledge his feelings and make good choices despite how he feels. Otherwise he will grow up into someone who acts on how they feel and has no self-control. Not asking him to hide his feelings, but acknowledge them, and then choose the right behavior based on the situation.
I know this is the basics of parenting, nothing new in the post. But I think sometimes on days like this I need that reminder that it's just a day. Don't draw conclusions that I need to attend 15 parenting classes, read 10 parenting books, and that my kids are a mess, but rather just finish the day out the best we can and then start over tomorrow!