Thursday, January 27, 2011

Day 25: SpongeJack Copy Pants

I will choose to find a positive perspective under even the most negative circumstances.
I will choose acceptance over resistance.
I will choose to focus on the things I value about my children, not the things that drive me nuts.
I will choose to extend the same grace, love and forgiveness to myself that I try to lavish on my husband and children each day.

You've heard it before: Children are like sponges, soaking up everything they see and hear. Everything. And just in case I ever forget, Jackson is happy to remind me. Take the food-meets-floor stage around 12 months. I watched him throw a pea to the ground, look me square in the eye and say, "Dammit, Jackson!" Whoops! Guess that one was slipping out pretty frequently, huh? Impressive language skills, but not quite what I was going for.

Or how about this morning when Max was yelling and he went over to him, squatted down to his level and said with a straight face, "Max, I can't take any more whining and complaining." *Facepalm* Not exactly the message I want him to take in, and certainly not what I want him regurgitating on other people. In fact, I don't even remember saying it to him, but since I'm the one he's with every day, we all know the buck stops here.

For all the things I'm conscious of modeling, there are so many more that slip under my radar. Being Ms. Negative means I dwell on the examples of my failures. But today I thought I'd squeeze into the telephone booth, lose the pessimistic lenses and try on some new tights. 

Happier than a mom at nap time. More optimistic than Mahatma Ghandi. Able to leap to positive conclusions in a single thought. Look, coming out of the darkness. It's a zen master. It's a swami. Dun-da-da-dunnnn...It's Captain Bright Side!

Okay, okay, so I don't exactly have optimistic superpowers. But I do, now and then, try to see the world through rose colored glasses, and today just happens to be one of those day. Literally every moment I'm with my children, I'm modeling. They see everything from the way I interact with people at the grocery store to how I treat their dad, and even how I treat myself. And they're picking up more good things than bad. I see the way Jackson respects other people and rules set in other places, how he comforts Maxwell when he's upset and asks his dad how his day was, and I know it's because he saw it, not because I taught it.

When I toss a book onto a pile and he very seriously tells me, "Mommy, do you think you should be more respectful with the library's book?" I can be proud that he has soaked up the value of taking extra care with things that aren't ours, not to mention the value of respectful communication. When he walks up to a little boy at school who's upset and hands him a toy saying, "Here, will this make you feel better?" I smile and know that he has learned to take care of other people by watching me do the same.

Sure he throws something when he gets mad sometimes (who knows where he got that one *looks around nonchalantly whistling*), but he also gains composure quickly, talks through the problem and spontaneously apologizes. He may be picking up a few *ahem* less-than-positive things from me, but he's also getting a mountain of valuable tools and traits at the same time. The more I focus on those, the more I will consciously and unconsciously show them.

1 comment:

  1. Great post ! Don't you love it when your children are correcting you ? Ah ah ah ! And yes, seing them act and react is a very good mirror to your own actions and reactions.