“What Do I Want Them To Learn?”
The truth of parenting is that every interaction with your children is an opportunity for them to learn. Kids are like little sponges, picking up bits and pieces and putting them together in their own minds to make sense of their worlds. They are learning from us constantly, which in addition to being a bit intimidating, can also be a great opportunity. It means that every time we interact with our kids, we have a new opportunity to teach them something important and to be a good role model. And as Scarlett said, tomorrow is another day, meaning that even if we don’t meet our own expectations today, we always have a chance to put our best foot forward again tomorrow.
So the next time you need to discipline or respond to something your child has done, take a deep breath and ask yourself, “What do I want my child to learn from this experience? How I can best share that message?” This isn’t about over-thinking situations or not reacting. It’s about being thoughtful and mindful in our interactions with our kids, thinking about the bigger picture rather than simply reacting to the immediate situation. It takes a bit of a shift to start thinking this way, but you’ll find that your relationships with your kids improve and you’ll have an overarching principle (“what do I want my kids to learn from this situation?”) that will inform and guide all of your interactions with your children, making those interactions consistent and meaningful.