Many of us do it every year. We make a firm decision to turn over a new leaf. We are going to cut junk food, cut carbs, cut spending… you know the deal.
And, if you’re like me, you resolve to ‘be a better parent’ and cut down on yelling at your kids. Maybe increase the quality time you spend with them?
I’m always amazed how packed the gym is just after New Year’s Day. I can’t get a good parking spot and have to walk way too far – like I want to get exercise or something. But you know how it goes: after a few weeks, the crowd is mostly gone and it’s back to the same dedicated souls.
I’m so hoping that is not me this year! With the kid stuff, I mean (the gym is a lost cause). But it usually is. I joke that I speak all over the country, teaching people how NOT to yell at kids – and then I go home and yell at my kids. Embarrassing.
The hard reality is that we will never be perfect. Personally, I will never even be close. I can accept that but I don’t want to be one of those people who flakes on my commitment after just a short period of being fired up. I don’t want to lose hope.
So, how can we take good care of ourselves in this area and not feel guilty when the inevitable ‘skill slippage’ occurs?
One thing that has helped me is to remember that Love and Logic is a very forgiving philosophy. Kids make mistakes, they take responsibility, they learn and we all move on – often in relatively short order. It is essential that we show that same grace with ourselves. The way we look forward, not backward and avoid dwelling, beating up and ‘I-told-you-so’, can be a wonderful way to treat ourselves. Just as we don’t want to dwell on our kids’ worst moments, we can let go of ours and focus on doing better going forward.
We are going to blow it at times. We are going to forget to use our skills in the heat of the moment. We are going to say things in very unloving and illogical ways. It’s just reality.
In those times, we need to give ourselves a break. We need to remind ourselves that modeling our human imperfection is part of raising great kids. We need to breathe and start again with a positive and hopeful attitude.
The most wonderful human beings you know were raised by imperfect parents!
You will learn some more great ideas for taking care of yourself in the audio "Oh Great! What Do I Do Now?"