Sometimes life can just stink.
It doesn’t have to be something big… Sometimes it can be as routine as having to get up early… Today was one of those days for my youngest. (add to the fact it was first day back to school since spring break)… All in all, not any major issues just not a good morning. She was moaning… crying… complaining… moping around the house as she begrudgingly got ready to catch her bus.
My first inclination was to be extremely annoyed… After all she’s not the only one facing early morning and she is just making it worse for all of us. I wanted to reprimand her and tell her to just get over it, but this morning I tried a different approach – 3 steps – and it worked out great
Step 1. Stop what I’m doing completely for 1 minute. So often I let quick one liners escape my mouth while I am in the middle of doing what I’m doing… without much thinking about what Im going to say… and more importantly, WHO I am going to say it to.
Step 2. Lowered myself down to her level… Physically. Eye to eye. Not looking down or just eye contact from above…On my knee – face to face
Step 3. Empathize and assure. I didn’t point out how wrong she was (even though her complaining was wrong… and annoying!) I told her how much I don’t like mornings either and I understand how she feels… Morning’s just stink sometimes. Then I told her that it was all going to be OK and I am there for her. She then gave me one of those BIG hugs I have come to really love!
No more moping… no more complaining… In fact, a bit of singing ensued:)
I learned something important. Sometimes the smallest ‘thorns in the flesh’, so to speak, disappear if I just take a minute out of my day to face them straight in the eye and let them know they are not alone.
The circumstance didn’t change… the outlook changed - She was understood and knew she wasn’t in it alone.
In a real way this reminded me of the ‘least of these” passages in the Gospel… right here in my house on a Monday morning.
Mathew 25:45 ‘I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.’
I know it’s insanely obvious… but, as parents lets make sure we look for the opportunity in the annoyance and let our kids know that we understand that sometimes life is uncomfortable or not what we would want it to be… but, they are not in it alone… Sometimes that’s all it might take to ease the tension.
I know this sounds over simplified, but in this instance it worked for me… What are some ways you relieve tension in the home?