Monday, August 9, 2010

You Get What You Give

I've been trying to decide what to write about for days now. I haven't had any hugely interesting storeis to tell...but one concept keeps coming to the forefront of my mind, and that is "you get what you give." Basically, treat others the way you want to be treated.

This is such a basic concept, but one we don't always remember. Many of us talk about how we wish people would treat us. What we don't realize is that we have the power to influence this. When we catch ourselves wishing someone would treat us differently, we should stop and ask ourselves, "Am I treating him or her the way I want to be treated?"

Happy, silly parents = happy, silly kids!
Let's think about this in terms of our children. What happens when we lose our cool and snap at them? Do they smile and tell us they love us? No. They snap right back, don't they? So, imagine what would happen if we took a deep breath and thought about our words and tone before we snapped.

I have been teaching this concept to my children. Here's an example. Alyssa is working on the computer, and in a whiny, yucky voice she says, "Aaaarrrrrrgh...this computer keeps doing this wrong." Then she looks at me as if she is waiting for me to jump out of my seat and run over to help her.

Only, at this point, I won't help her because she didn't speak nicely or use the word "please" or even directly address me. She simply complained. She made my skin crawl. I am now feeling totally frustrated and annoyed because she came at me with negativity. As a result, my response is equally rude. I say something like, "Alyssa, mommy is trying to do her work, and you are making me crazy with this computer stuff."

Imagine how this situation could have gone better if Alyssa would have said, "Mom, can you please help me? I'm having computer problems." I would not have felt that negative energy coming from her, and I most likely would have been much happier about helping her out.

Now, I can't expect a 4-year-old to know this already -- I'm in my 30's and just learning it. So, I look at it as an opportunity to teach Alyssa that she gets what she gives. If she wants mommy to respond with love, then she should ask with love!

It seems like every day is a new opportunity to be a better parent! Thankfully, our kids give us plenty of opportunities to try again!

Written with love and adoration for Tyler and Alyssa ... mommy's most influential teachers!

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