Wednesday, June 22, 2011

along with reflection comes honesty...

a few days ago, i wrote about reflection.

how important it is to just reflect, and respect, our children's emotions... their space...  where they are, in that moment, and no further. 

that said, i feel it's also important to honor my own feelingsvery important, for that matter.

as parents, we so often do our best to hide our frustration.  stay calm.  we want to have peaceful homes.  and we do a pretty good job at it.

however, that's not to say that being honest about our own feelings can't be a part of that. 

i sure am not a vessel of calmness at all times.  yes, i think i do a pretty good job at not losing my temper... or not yelling at leo... or taking time to think things through before i react.  but leo also needs to know that there are times i am frustrated.  and i do get sad.  and i do get angry.  and sometimes, yes, he is the one that makes those feelings surface.

by no means do i shout out and blame him for those feelings.  but when i've asked him to do something over and over again, and he hasn't, i think it's worth him knowing "leo, this is making me feel frustrated."  or, when he's crying, still, after i've said no to something, that "i need some space from the crying.  if you need to cry, that's fine, but i need to take a break from it." 

or, when i've sat, for many, many minutes, with him... as he's sad... and i no longer have the time available to sit and wait, that "i understand you're still feeling sad.  you've been sad for a long time, and i am sad too.  it's time for me to move on now."

he freely expresses his emotions.  he moves on from one emotion to the next pretty easily.  he lives in the moment.  and i envy that.  if i can't do that, the least i can do is be honest with myself and him.  and be easy on myself.  there's nothing wrong with getting frustrated... or angry... or sad... or just needing a break for a few minutes.

and leo needs to know that.  if all he knows is me remaining calm, taking deep breaths to avoid frustration... than how will he ever know that emotions are healthy?  that expression is healthy? 

i'm not saying it's right to yell.  or encouraging losing patience. 
 
but i do think it is okay to just be honest

in whatever emotion that may be.

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