It's 7am. Our family team is working hard to complete breakfast and bust a move to catch the bus. After several parades out into the living room with numerous clothing options, multitude complaints and severe whining, I lost it.
I walked into Gigi's room with her, took all of her clothes out of her drawers, threw them onto her table and floor and told her that her consequence was to come home after school and neatly fold each piece of clothing, give it thanks and bless each article as it went back into her dresser...
I walked back to the kitchen where Sophia and Olivia were finishing their breakfast; wide-eyed, looking deeply concerned.
"Mom, take a deep breath...I think you really need to apologize to Gigi." (That's from Olivia. She's 4.)
"Mom, you could always take a pillow and yell into it." (Sophia. She's 9.)
This is what we call, "Managing Up." When your children have the foresight and wisdom that eludes us in our all-consuming moments of drama. There they are pulling me back to reality, back to sanity and most importantly, back to my center. I walked back into Gigi's room and apologized. We hugged. She seemed to move right along and managed to catch the bus and get on with her morning.
While I'm not proud of my moment with Gigi, I know as a parent, we make mistakes all the time. I will continue to make mistakes. I'm fully cognizant that with my best efforts, my kids will still need to work out my parenting glitches with a professional. It's okay. Sorry goes a long way. Working hard to come up with a different, more creative reaction goes a long way. Taking deep breaths goes a long way and so does yelling into a pillow.
Today, Olivia and I were talking at the kitchen table and we revisited the incident and I thanked her for sharing her wisdom with me. I asked her if she had any other suggestions on what to do when we are really angry or frustrated and she said, "Mom, just have a glass of ice water."
Nice. Simple, yet effective. Essentially, a great way to "cool down the heat."
May we always have the humility and open-heartedness to admit our faults and embrace the (Mini) Manager that steps up.
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