Do not criticize your child today.
I really thought this was going to be a hard one. I think I got lucky, though. Mason is not feeling that great, and Cooper doesn’t stop talking, so there was really no room for me to be critical. I did force myself to think about WHY I thought it would be hard. Obviously I think I criticize my kids too much. I don’t think I’m giving out blatant criticism, but I do have a critical eye on things.
“Is that what you’re going to wear today?”
“I wouldn’t do that if I were you.”
“Are you sure you don’t want to do it this way instead?”
“Why are you so picky about food?”
“You’re being very mean.”
“I can’t believe you are not getting it.”
That’s my critical eye. I hold my kids to high standards. I have to keep remembering that they are only 4 and 7. They have a lot of time to learn and grow and become who they want to be. And it should be up to them, not me. So I’ve realized I need to wear shades over my critical eyes. I’m going to bite my tongue if I can catch it in time. I’m going to dole out praise instead. Didn’t our own parents and grandparents teach us that if we don’t have anything nice to say, to not say it at all? Isn’t that the same lesson I’m trying to teach my own children? And isn’t there something about the golden rule – “Treat others the way you want to be treated.” I do not like being criticized. I shudder at the thought of someone not liking me or thinking ill of me. I would never want my own children to feel the way I do when someone is criticizing me. It’s a horrible feeling.
Lucky for me, I didn’t have to learn this lesson today by doing the wrong thing and wanting a do-over. I was able to learn it through introspection and thought. And now I will carry this new wisdom with me into tomorrow. (Hey, maybe my prayers were answered!)