WHAT YOU DON’T KNOW ABOUT PATIENCE (THAT YOU SHOULD)
Patience is probably one of the most common hot-button questions moms ask me about.
I’m always told, “You are always so calm, I can’t imagine you ever feel stressed or angry.”
You know what makes me feel liking yelling at my son? When he throws baked beans and rice all over the kitchen table, floor, and walls.
I may not yell and shout, but the voice inside me is yelling “STOP IT, KID!” What comes out may be a firm and seemingly mild-mannered “STOP IT”, but don’t be fooled, there is no love or compassion in my voice.
My sensitive boy hears the tone of my voice, feels my energy, and tears well up immediately.
Here comes the mommy guilt.
You see whether we scream or not we can still be impatient.
So what can you do instead in those moments your child does something that makes you want to scream?
In today’s blog, I’m going to dive into the two different types of patience that isn’t talked about and how to approach each situation.
situation 1 – Uh-oh moments
These are small moments that we can choose to either blow-up at but really they are harmless mistakes. It’s when your child mistakenly spills their milk or accidently trips and breaks your favorite plate.
I’ll tell you my personal experience.
One morning I was running late to drop Ayaan off at pre-school. He didn’t want breakfast and was whiny. While I was eating some almond chips, he asked for some. In 3.2 seconds he changed his mind and swat the entire container out of my hands.
I had a Christmas Story moment when Ralphie saw all the tire bolts fly through the air. Instead of saying “OHHH FUDGEEE.” I said Uhhh-ohhh in a playful way. I didn’t love the idea of sweeping up tons of little almond chips when I was running late, but I didn’t let it affect my mood. I accepted that in that moment I had to clean them up. I did and the day moved forward.
Yes, these moments are not ideal but it’s a matter of accepting them quickly and moving on. Something spills. Your child forgot something at school. They broke your favorite lipstick. Yes, they are teachable moments but they don’t warrant yelling, punishing or overreacting.
When we give a graver punishment or consequence for things that happened accidently, we start planting a seed of fear in our children. They start to be afraid of making mistakes and are too hard on themselves when mistakes happen.
Some moments are just uh-oh’s! A great book to teach kids about mistakes is Todd Parr’s It’s Okay To Make Mistakes.
situation 2 – I don’t feel in control MOMENTS
The second type of situation that demands your patience, are the ones that trigger deep wounds. Many times our children are simply re-triggering unaddressed childhood pain we experienced with unmindful adults from our childhood.
Many times how our children treat us makes us feel the same way we did when we were innocent, helpless and trusting children. Back then we were powerless, lacked the voice or power to stand up for ourselves but now as a parent, when we feel out of control, we’ll unleash a fury of anger, punishments, and threats we couldn’t before.
When we feel wounded, we feel out of control. And we think the quickest way to get things in control is to exert our power by yelling, screaming and threatening our child to stop what they are doing that is causing you discomfort.
Here’s an example of how this recently played out in my life.
Whenever I tell Ayaan “No”, he loses it. No is like his kryptonite as it is for many kids and meltdown mode isn’t too far behind.
This can mean throwing things or pulling my hair if I’m in close proximity. The throwing things doesn’t trigger me but anytime Ayaan tries to hit or pull my hair, it automatically triggers a deep rage within me. If I didn’t have a strong mindfulness practice that day I can go from zero to angry in 5 seconds.
I don’t hit my son and I consciously try not to yell at him, so when he comes at me aggressively, I take it personally.
When you feel a rage against someone you deeply love, there is a wound being triggered. When I sat down with the rage to understand it during meditation, I realized the rage was directed toward experiences in my childhood where I felt out of control when I was hit and punished. I always felt my punishments were gravely disproportionate to the mistakes I had made.
So when my son pulled my hair, it re-triggered those emotions of being a scared, helpless little girl who would feel unloved when she was hit.
Once I knew the wound, I asked myself, “Is my son intentionally doing that to make me feel stupid or out of control?
The answer was no! My impatience was the control and dominion I wish I had as a little girl and being misdirected on my innocent son.
My son was learning to navigate the flood of emotions he was experiencing. With a boy with little words, it was his only form of communication to show me that he didn’t like what I was saying or doing.
He was still learning to process anger. It was my choice to instill fear in him or help he learn to cope with anger so I could break the pattern from continuing.
So I did I go on healing that wound. In deep meditation, I had a conversation with little Tejal, and asked her what she needed, and she said she needed to feel safe and loved. It was through healing myself. Honoring my pain, acknowledging the wounded girl inside me and making efforts to listen, love and make myself feel worthy, the wounds started to heal
That’s when everything shifted.
When I now say “No”- I feel confident, secure and not scared. I know I am lovable regardless of how my son treats me. I don’t take it personal anymore.
I now get to his level, look in his eyes and without being intimidating or fearful I firmly and calmly speak.
And miraculously, when I speak my truth my deep patience arises, Ayaan feels my energy, he listens and his tantrum flows away quickly.
We regain control when we live, act and speak from our highest power… So find a practice that helps you stay connected to your power and you’ll find real control over the only that matters – YOUR reaction.
So now I want to hear from you,
Share with us one of your recent Uh-oh patient moments and recent I don’t feel in control moments and how you intend to stay patient through them.
Share as many details as possible. Many mindful mama souls come to this site for inspiration. Your wisdom and experience may be exactly what another mom needs to help her on her journey.
Remember, patience is a journey of healing and growing. Many of us are just starting to learn these tools. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Everyone makes mistakes. Even grown-ups. That’s how YOU learn!
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