In my Patriarchal Blessing it talks about how important it is for me to continue my education after High School. It says that it will help me become a better Mother. I have often wondered how getting my Business Administration Degree would help me as a Mother.
In my Business Management class we have been learning about self-management and how that can help you more effectively control yourself and those you manage. Yesterday I had to write a paper on reacting vs. responding. I had never really thought about the differences of these two words before. Reacting is a automatic and an irrational response to a situation. Most of the time this results in a negative outcome where feelings are hurt. I found that I do this often with my kids. They will get into something they are not supposed to or fight with each other and I immediately react and yell at them, give them time outs, and be very dramatic. (And I wonder where Sophie gets the drama from?)
But responding is taking a minute to asses the situation and calm down. You ask yourself if this is really a big deal? And is it worth hurting feelings or relationships? Then you can more effectively deal with the situation and it is better for both parties involved. I decided to put this to the test yesterday.
Sophie likes to hold her little mirror while she brushes her hair. Yesterday The girls were both holding onto it screaming at each other. I immediately wanted to react and take it away from them and say "Now neither of you can have it!" But I wanted to respond so I calmly had them hand me the mirror and I explained to Sophie that Lydia likes to be just like her and loves to do things with her and she wasn't trying to take the mirror to be mean. I asked her if it would be a good idea and more fun if Lydia held the mirror for her while she brushed and then she could ask to trade. It was like magic they started laughing and trading and brushing each others hair. (I understand that this will not happen all of the time).
But I found that I was more patient and the girls acted better and were much more willing do do things that I had asked because I hadn't yelled at them all day. And I felt better because I wasn't so frustrated.
Sophie has been obsessed with winning lately. And it is a huge deal if she doesn't win. Every night when we go brush our teeth she yells "I'm going to win!!" and runs to the bathroom. If someone else beats her it is the end of the word. We have talked to her several times about how winning isn't important and we don't always win but we can try harder next time. None of that has helped at all. No one else is allowed to win in her mind. Chad and I were at a loss nothing was getting through to her. Until yesterday...
Sophie and Lydia were in the bathtub and I said it was time to get out. Sophie jumped up climbed out and said "I win!" And after all of the responding I had been doing all day it hit me on what to do. I looked at Sophie and said "That's good Sophie but what if the winner was the one that stayed in the tub the longest? That means Lydia is a winner too. You are both winners for doing different things."
She seemed to contemplate it and I was a little shocked she didn't whine and say "no I'm the winner!!"
And then that night when we went to brush our teeth Sophie said "Hey everyone lets all run to the bathroom and all be the winners!"
I am so grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who truly knows me. How he understands my needs. I have been so blessed and continue to be amazed at the many moments in my life where I feel close to Him. I am so grateful to be a Mother and am so glad that He is there to help me become better.