This is something I learned through my own experience. When I am in a crappy mood I see how it affects my kids and their behavior. They start acting the same way, which doesn’t really help anyone, only makes it worse for all of us. As hard as it is trying to control your mood on some days, especially, it is worth trying, still. Great when you naturally feel joyful and involve kids in your happiness. And when you don’t, taking a few minutes here and there to take those few deep breaths away from others does magic. When you feel like you are, more or less, your cheerful self again, go back and give them a hug. They will appreciate the effort. And, most importantly, you will appreciate it yourself when you notice the positive difference it makes in everyone’s day.
Having said this, I am more referring to people lashing out on their children all the time when they are having a hard time, without even trying to assess the situation and how it affects them. Sometimes we have to be honest with our children to show them that we are human with out feelings and bad hair days. I know reasonable people have ways of conveying their true feelings to their kids without causing them too much physical or mental harm. Being honest with kids on their level is always good, but being conscious of our own feelings first before letting it out on others is another thing. I am not advocating for lying to our kids about our feelings. I always explain to my 4 y/o when she sees me ‘grumpy’ (her word about my moodiness) that I am tired, or I didn’t get enough sleep, etc. and she understands. I just want people to stop and analyze for a second before affecting others, and I see it a lot in public, and kids have to pay. THAT is what could and should be changed.
Photo: Lee Davenport (Flickr)