Actions Speak Louder Than Words
I wrote a Facebook status awhile back that said:
Need motivation to stay calm the next time your toddler spills something on the carpet? How about remembering that she will MODEL your reaction later! Don’t yell or get upset, spills happens!1
It’s hard to be a role model – I know! As with everything else in life, it takes practice.
Today’s post has an assignment: for the next 12 hours or so, I want you to focus your energies on modeling the gentle, kind behavior and reactions that you hope your family will model for others.
- Muffle any criticisms that want to bubble over – both criticisms of others and of yourself.
- Keep those eyes focused gently on your child – resist the urge to roll them to the heavens when she does something annoying.
- Speak gently, even when your partner speaks harshly.2
- Try not to yell if your little one “misbehaves.” Take a breath, become aware of your anger, and come back to the situation when you are able to see it through your child’s eyes and respond with patience.
Tonight, after this experiment in awareness is done, come back and share a story from your day. Was it harder than you thought? Easier? Did you notice a difference in the way others reacted to you? Did you save yourself an argument that you usually have with your child or partner?
Let’s see what some focused kindness, patience, and awareness can do in our lives.
On your mark, get set, go!
- The update linked to a post I wrote for Hobo Mama about helping parents assume the best intentions from their little ones. In other words, sometimes we attribute “misbehavior” to kids, when really they are not trying to behave “badly” or get on our nerves, they are simply exploring their world and living life. ↩
- You don’t have to be a doormat; you can say “I feel sad and anxious when you speak to me with anger in your voice, because I’m worried that it will lead to an argument.” Sharing your feelings in a non-judgmental way might get a better response than accusations or responses-in-kind. ↩
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"Actions Speak Louder Than Words"
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