I’ve been working on character today with the kids and we were discussing about confidence and not to become someone we wouldn’t want to befriend. I have had a system this year of my kids earning rewards and receiving corrections for misbehaviour. Well today my son refused to complete one of his chores (cleaning his room – as usual) and I sat down with him and asked him how he felt at that moment, having had to sit in his room and lose his chance to earn a reward. Did he feel happy? Was he having fun? My usual approach would be to confiscate his most prized toy of the moment until the chore is complete (as we discuss and allocate chores in advance – so there’s no surprise) and in a raised voice reprimand him for his disobedience. However, this method of speaking and discussing was effective as he seemed to be reflecting on whether or not his misbehaviour was worth it. It got me thinking, is our behaviour as parents worth the results?
I am currently reading Positive Discipline by Jane Nelson. When I complete it I will write a review here, but I cannot read books such as these unless I have a pen and paper to take notes (and plenty of them), so you’ll need to be a little patient with me. However, I wanted to share with you that in the book Nelson puts a lot of emphasis on setting an example for your child. She speaks about how society has changed drastically, where the mother now no longer listens to or at least pretends to be obedient to the father. This in turn has caused children to see their mothers disrespect their fathers, and as a result the children lose respect for others and themselves. I have seen that some kids I know who have respect for others, usually have a mother who is subservient in some degree, towards their father and vice versa. I have always been a people pleaser so when I got married I got a lot of fulfilment and enjoyment from pleasing my husband regardless. I can see that my relationship towards my husband does have a positive effect on my kids. They know that there is a bit of a hierarchy with a ‘King and Queen’ of the Castle as well as them being respected and important as they are the ‘princes and princesses’.
It seems like a lot of responsibility to not only rear your child in a certain way but to always be that way yourself. We are constantly teaching as well as learning. I love Albert Einstein’s quote that ‘any fool can know. The point is to understand’. We need to embody the characters we are trying to instil in our children. I have realised that all of life is based on perception. Even if we do not have that character trait we are teaching within ourselves, we must perceive to have it. I don’t mean try to be someone you’re not but instead act as if you do have that certain quality and you will bring that improvement into your life. You are probably thinking to yourself that in theory it sounds simple yet in practice you couldn’t possibly pass this off. Well if you believe that this is such a monumental feat, so it shall be. However, if we learnt to accept and believe that we are blessed enough in our body and soul to be even given this opportunity, we wouldn’t squander it with worry or stress, rather embrace the challenge and enjoy the ride.
‘We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not an act, but a habit’