Breathe in…. and out…. and in…. and out (it’s meant to help you calm down…. doesn’t seem to work all the time though).
Sitting here counting down the days/hours left of the school holidays. Mind you – these school holidays feel like 2 years. You know, the whole home schooling thing… trying to work.. trying to parent… trying to stay calm, happy, peaceful (yeah right!).
Anyway, upon reflection I realised yesterday I was yelling ALL day… actually for a couple of days… ok, ok, ok…the whole damn week!! Turns out I’m really good at yelling – LOUD!
Although, I have this incredible ability to change character when the front door opens and the neighbours walk past, where I smile, wave and give pure confirmation that my children are perfect… what noise.? Everything is fine here! (haha)
I am only yelling because the kids DO NOT listen….
‘’please be quiet… sit down… don’t do that… I’ve already asked you to stop…. leave your brother alone…. keep your hands to yourself…. get out of the pantry… close the fridge… you just ate… can you hear me…. are you listening….. why do I have to repeat myself 1000 times?” (actually – there’s an idea, I might record next time, then push a button that says it all repeatedly for me)
Have you ever noticed they are such angels when you are not trying to concentrate, not in a meeting or on a phone call, BUT the second the phone rings and you answer “hello” – it – is – on! They are off and racing, who can get your attention first, who can speak the loudest, who can find the most dangerous thing to do or the highest thing to climb, who can win the battle to get you to say ‘’yes... just have that treat…’’ (you know the one you swore they were not going to get…ever).
Now, don’t pretend this is not the case in your house… video conferencing has confirmed for me this is common – I hear it – I see it – I live it!
It got me thinking though… we are always asking the kids to listen “turn on your listening ears”. We expect that as soon as we speak they should listen, do as they are told… without question… don’t raise their voice to us… be calm etc.
I often say to the kids you have two ears and one mouth and they should be used it that proportion….. then it struck me…. I AM RIGHT! They should be used in that proportion…. BY US!
So today, I challenged myself to try something new… use my ears (two of them) and less of my mouth (only one). Turns out a little bit of dedicated attention, more active listening and a calm response voice creates a more peaceful house! The kids are often just wanting us to listen as much as we are expecting them to do the same. As soon as they feel like they are being heard, they start to hear you back.
Of course, I appreciate some days will be harder than others, however, two ears and one mouth in that proportion is something I am going to try and stick to a bit more. (Hopefully the kids get the gist too!!)
P.S we’ve left the front door open all day today – the neighbours have even smiled and waved back!!