He has been blessed with the gift of stubborness, something that will certainly come in handy as he grows, but for a mom, it can definitely be a challenge. He is a brilliant kid (and I'm not just saying that because I'm his mom), but that sometimes leads to total meltdowns when he has the opportunity to be wrong. I say opportunity because he definitely needs to learn that it is okay to be wrong because that is how we learn.
As a teacher, I am accustomed to helping kids. When they don't understand something, I patiently work with them. It frustrates me to no end when he immediately shuts down, refuses to listen, or starts to cry or bang his feet on the floor.
I try my best to maintain my composure because really a 10 year old having a meltdown and a 33 year old having a meltdown are not a good combination! This doesn't always work, though, and yesterday, I did have a hard time maintaining my presence and finding ways to respond to him with compassion and grace.
Until today. I am always humbled and in awe by how what we need will often show up for us right when we need it. I have recently started following a group on Facebook called Peaceful Parenting. Throughout the day, they post positive statements or thoughts about motherhood, and this morning, a link to a YouTube video that has many different positive affirmations you can use with your children. They even group them by age range. The thumbnail on their post showed this statement:
I had to stop and allow it resonate. After the drama of the afternoon's homework time, I decided that I would find a way to help him become more responsive to my guidance during homework time. I planned on setting aside time tonight to read some more in my Momfulness book, sure that I would find some guidance.
I've read about and used affirmations before. I used to carry around meaningful statements on index cards that I would read each morning or when I needed to find focus, but I have not thought about using them with my boy-os. And now that I think about, I'm not sure why I haven't. Instead of telling them to focus, to listen, to stop getting frustrated all in the heat of the moment, laying a foundation of of these things in a positive way seems like a much more effective starting point. This isn't to say that some moments will not call for me to redirect their behavior, but slowly, we can reshape their reactions, beliefs, and behaviors in a positive way. My next step is to figure out how to begin sharing these with them consistently, intentionally, and effectively.