I am sure all of you parents know that kids are fast learners and the best imitators. They have superior five senses and they really take in everything that you do, down to the smallest details. It's fascinating but it's scary at times. The other day, I caught my toddler putting a rubber band in her mouth, across her lower teeth, each little hand of hers holding one end of the rubber band, moving it left and right, left and right. It wasn't long before I realized she was trying to floss her teeth, just like her daddy did earlier, with the rubber band. Another time, I caught her pouring milk from her Sippy cup onto her hands and rubbing it all over her body. Yup, her mommy was putting lotion on herself just before that. Now God helps me if I accidentally forget to screw the lid of her butt paste all the way in.
My toddler is generally a happy kid, but she is also super-active and impatient, and she just can't seem to grasp the concept of waiting. Combined with her slightly delayed language development, she gets frustrated easily, and sometimes she would even hits me (which will be followed by a time-out) and she throws tantrums when she does not get what she wants. One time I felt so discouraged and frustrated, and I said to my husband "you know, I am just not a good mom after all. I really have no clues when it comes to parenting. How come my kid has such bad temper (and these other kids that I saw have such good manners all the time)?". Then a frightening realization dawned on me. Children are mirrors of their parents. I have been stressed out lately and haven't had the best temper really. I tried my best not to, but I got impatient and yelled at my toddler more than I would like to, especially towards the end of the day when I was exhausted and she was exhausted. So she must be picking this bad temper thing up from me also. Now whenever I get frustrated with her, I would remind myself to calm down, and even though I am boiling inside, sometimes (I still can't manage to not get mad and raise my voice sometimes) I would intentionally lower my voice and just tell her that her behavior is not good and gives her a brief time-out (a minute or two only because she just won't be still). For some reason, she would actually listen instead of throwing more tantrums sometimes (not all the time but that's an improvement), so I guess I am moving in the right direction.
So parents, examine yourself and examine your own action. Being a mom definitely forces me to face my own weakness, and prompts me to really act on it, for my own good and for the good of my toddler. For that, I am grateful. I am grateful for the opportunity to be the mirror of my child and I hope I will put it to good use. Now next time when I cannot control my own temper, I would have to dig up this post and read this aloud to myself LOL.
Originally published on Bubblews: