Sometimes things don’t go my way. As you may well know, things may not go your way either. This past winter, I am at my daughter’s home taking care of two of my grandchildren for a few days while my daughter and son-in-law travel to Utah for a ski trip. My oldest grandchild is 5 and such a delight in so many ways. Of course, there are the challenges too.
Things don’t go my way!
It is my first experience of trying to make sure he got to kindergarten ON TIME. I have it all figured out, and was determined we would get to school before 8:00 am. Up early, dressed, breakfast on the table, his backpack at the door with what he needed for the day, 2 water bottles and 3 snacks knowing what time we need to be in the car. I make sure both he and his younger sister are up, dressed and fed breakfast. All is going according to my plans.
Then it wasn’t! Things weren’t going the way I thought they should! After all, when young children are involved, what does go in accordance to our plans?
I realized I am so serious about we need to be there on time, and honestly, what does it mean about me if we’re late. I had so much importance on getting him to school by 8:00 that I had started rushing and pushing to make it happen. You all know that feeling of rushed and trying to control the situation so it goes our way. We forget kids live in the moment. I am caught up in the expectations of what “should” happen.
Of course, he feels it and did what comes naturally to him. He gets angry and resists. Little human beings feel when we start taking ourselves too seriously. So can everyone else for that matter. Some react by getting angry, some get their feelings hurt, some get scared, some react well at times. He got angry, went to his bedroom and low and behold, locked the door. Yikes! That was not part of my plan.
I am outside his bedroom door trying to get him to come out… to no avail. Then I caught on to my rushed feeling and knew to settle down. The energy we bring to any situation always makes a difference. Our feelings tell us about our quality of thinking, our mood – like the rumble strips on the side of the road tell us when we are leaving the road.
So I settle down, say a few reassuring words to him and walk away from his locked door to tend to his little sister.
Within a few minutes, out of the corner of my eye, I noticed that he was out of his room and in the kitchen five feet away from me. He had calmed down on his own. We are all designed to do that when our minds settle down. He even had a “little smile” on his face.
Now were we late? Yes, yet we had an enjoyable ride to school. He jumped out of the car in a nice mood ready to start the day.
Sometimes things don’t go my way. That’s okay and normal for all of us. It is noticing our state of mind that allows us to have choice in our reactions.
Which was the more simple and effective approach?
-To get angry with him and try to talk sense into his little head when he was upset. It feels so compelling to do this. My ego thinking says he needs to know better and right now is the time to tell him.
-Or to catch on to my upset feeling state, calm down and go about my own business. This gave him the space to do what is natural, to calm down on his own. When our minds calm down, we get back to our innate mental well-being. His little smile was proof of that.
I wish I had realized this when my children were young. How many times I attempted to get my point across while they were upset and with no success I might add!
It is such a simple thing, and it applies to all relationships. Our minds are never open to hearing someone else when we are upset.
If you are interested in understanding more about how life doesn’t have to be so hard and complicated, how we really do create our own realities, how to better understand and deal with a troubling relationship (even if it is with yourself), I invite you to contact me for a Complimentary Consultation.