Over the long Easter break, I have been listening to the neighbours (oh, the joys of suburbia) and since I am surrounded by families there is a LOT of yelling/crying going on!
Now I remember being a kid… play and laughter and books and TV and lots of fun. But the downside was being told what to do and when to do it. And I would get cranky and try the tantrum trick just in case it worked. I sometimes thought I had it hard and the parents had it easy. Yes, I know now, I was slightly mistaken!
As a parent I now get all the beautiful hugs, and first times, and love and laughter. But then there are also the dilemmas. When should I be strict and when should I let go? What are the risks of letting my kids use an iPad, at what age, how much time? Which battles should I pick, and when should I turn a blind eye?
As a single parent, it’s even more complicated because I have to make these decisions on my own, and sometimes I have had to decide whether it was worth the fight and argument. So I’ve read books, talked to friends and family. It’s easier when the kids are in school to make contact with other parents and get some feedback on what they do at home.
In the end I came to the conclusion that a lot of it comes down to emotions. Whatever the decision I need to make, I need to keep a level head about it and not let my emotions get out of control. And if I can remain calm, the kids eventually pick up on it and learn that kicking and screaming will not make me change my mind. They know they are better off thinking it over, then coming to me to discuss things when they have cooled down. I figure this is a good skill they will take into their work when they grow up!
It’s taken a while, and a fair few emotional ups and downs, but it’s the one trick I have found to work: keeping the emotion commotion in control makes for a much quieter holiday time!
Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.