Stop, Squeeze, Smile

I recently read a blog post at Hands Free Momma that gave me pause entitled "The Bully Too Close To Home."  I'd been seeing many of my Facebook friends re-post the link to this, so I thought I'd check it out.  What I read made my heart sad.  Here's just a portion of what Rachel Stafford wrote:

Calling all the shots was a mean voice in my head. My internal drill sergeant was continually pushing me to make everything sound better, look better, and taste better. My body, my house, and my achievements were never good enough. Holding myself to such unattainable standards weighed heavily on my soul and my inner turmoil eventually spilled out at people I loved the most.

Sadly, there was one person in particular who bore the brunt of my discontent: my first-born daughter.

She could not make mess without me shaking my head in disappointment.

She could not forget her homework, her jacket, or her lunchbox without me making a big deal about it.

It goes on - read it at the above link; it's a worthy read - but I think you get the picture...

That's me.  Rachel hit the proverbial nail on the head of ME when she wrote that.

Beth and I.

A couple things happened inside me after reading her blog post.  First, I was relieved that someone out there had taken pause and diagnosed this problem - a problem I knew but didn't know I had. You know what I mean?

And second, an overwhelming sadness flooded my soul.  This is not how I want Beth to grow up.  This is not how I want her to remember her childhood - her mom.  But what do I do about it?!

Well, thankfully, after writing that blog post, Rachel posted a helpful article written by Andrea Nair entitled "Seven Steps to Being Less Hard on our Kids"on this very subject.  This is another worthy read - take a few minutes mommas!

Basically, Andrea gives practical advice toward fixing the bully mom - so to speak.

The most important thing to remember is that we have a choice. We can actively choose to be friendly instead of harsh. The trick is to have a strategy in place — I call this an Angry Plan which helps when you don't feel friendly.

I enjoyed reading her Angry Plan, and it inspired me to write my own.  I actually started using this when I picked up the kids today, and I was pleased with the results. 

Use in Case of Anger Emergency: Stop, Squeeze, and Smile

1 - Stop - Take a deep breath!
2 - Squeeze - Hold the child's hand or Hug the child.
3 - Smile - Make eye contact, say "I love you", and make your request.

Beth has responded very well to this approach, and doing this, I get my way without all the drama - that is arguing and back talk. 

Also, I feel better about me. I feel happier this evening - content.  I would HIGHLY recommend reading Andrea Nair's article if you are at all like me and have problems with anger.

So thankful to have read these posts for the sake of my relationship with my oldest daughter!

Today's forget-me-not: "In your anger, do not sin." Ephesians 4:26

1 comment:

  1. :(
    This is a problem I have had for a long time. I'll have to try your approach!