I have always loved the tongue in cheek saying, “If momma ain’t happy, nobody’s happy!” Of course it was meant to insinuate that it was in everyone’s best interest to do what momma wanted… or else. But what I have come to realize is that there is an enormous amount of truth in those words. Not because mothers insist that everything go their way, but because parents in general have the power to affect their children in ways many are not aware of.
For example, let’s say you have had a bad day at work. As you are preparing dinner you are still feeling frustrated about your day so as you place the pan on the stove a bit more forceful than unusual, the cupboard door is shut with a bit more energy, and as your five year old innocently comments on the fact that he doesn’t like the vegetable you are preparing, you respond with nothing more than a glare.
The only thing your child knows is that you are not happy. He doesn’t know why but because his innocent comment was met with a much different response than he is used to, he thinks your negative mood is his fault.
And then several days later your child has experienced a bad at school. He slams the door of the car when you pick him up from school, throws his back pack on the floor as he enters the house and when you ask him what is wrong, he delivers that glare.
Children look to their parents for guidance about what to think, how to feel, how to respond and react. There are volumes of books that explain the scientific evidence behind the vibrational messages we send out by how we act and feel. I will let you research that on your own. But what is important for parents to realize is that those messages, whether vibrational, through our voice tone or our moods will be reflected in our children.
When we present a positive attitude and approach to life’s challenges, our children will follow suit. That is not to say we must put on “happy face” and go through our days emulating the “Stepford” lifestyle with a forced smile covering our true feelings.
What is preferable, however, is to communicate with your children. Tell them your feelings…be honest and if appropriate ask for their help. Too often parents feel the need to be perfect in their children’s eyes. They think that to allow their children to see them struggling, frustrated, or upset will in some way negatively affect them.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
Being real with your children is the most positive thing you can do. If you had a bad day at work, share your feelings and allow them to see you are not perfect and that you too have struggles. What is important is to make sure you also demonstrate that you are confident that you can and will work through it.
So, should you have a bad day, or find yourself in a bad mood, SAY SO! Simply share the truth. “I am sorry Billy, I have not had a good day at work and I am really tired right now. Could you help me by allowing me a few minutes to rest a bit and then we can make dinner together?”
Children don’t need parents who are always perfect; they need parents who are always present…even when that means asking for some space. Allow them into your life, thorns and all, and you will be building a relationship where your children feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and feelings with you.
Modeling positive behavior does not mean having to be perfect.
Denny Hagel is a Children’s Advocate and Parenting Coach. She has devoted her career to helping parents empower their children with an understanding of the principles of the law of attraction at work in their lives through her many publications, eBooks, and programs at her company, Innovative Parenting LLC. Parenting the way Nature intended it to be.
For more info: http://www.MissingSecretToParenting.com