We had one of those days yesterday.
One of those crappy, crappy days where both parent and child fail to make the best choices. One of those days where a teachable moment is squandered and instead becomes a lesson for the parent. One where I whisper at bedtime that I am sorry I am still learning, sorry that they have to endure the days when my on-the-job training is not going very well.
But then those days turn into evenings spent googling parenting advice on how to properly handle our particular challenge. And as happens when I do this post-parenting-fail-analysis, yesterday I discovered a wealth of wisdom that confirms I had made a list of mistakes while mishandling the situation. But then - then! - I found this nugget of brilliance from Anne Lamott called WAIT.
It stands for Why Am I Talking?
Anne's son is a young adult, and a father himself- and her point seemed to be about letting him live his life without imposing her opinions. But I think it holds true even for the still-little ones. Even though there is so much to teach, and so much to tell - what sometimes gets lost in our house is listening and understanding, and just as egregiously, leading by example. As someone genetically-wired to bang on and on when making a point, I love this acronym.
So I am attempting less saying more showing, and less lecturing more listening. And hopefully the next time adversity strikes, we'll come at it in a better way.
How do you regroup after a tough moment? Do you apologize to your kids for mishandling a situation?