Sunday, October 30, 2011

Being the Adult

We shouldn’t blow up at our children. There is no excuse for an adult allowing themselves to be placed in a position where a full on screaming match follows, because the minute we find ourselves yelling at our child... we have already lost the battle.

When it gets to the point of raised voices, the rule is we always walk away. We think it over, we try to look at both sides, and when we have calmed down we discuss the solution. That's what has always worked for our family in the past. We walk away until we can all be rational. Sometimes that takes minutes, sometimes that takes days. But we deal with it when the time has come to deal with it, and not before.

We, the adults remain in control. We call it off when it starts to go over. We are the representatives of reason, the force of rationality, the voice of experience.

So how is it that I ended up standing in the driveway screaming at the top of my lungs at my almost-eighteen-year-old daughter, Brooke?

Sometimes we know exactly what we are supposed to do as parents, but something in our wiring just flips. We get pushed too far. Wrong place, really wrong time. A bad day is still following us around. I don't yell at my kids often, even they will tell you it is really rare to see mommy lose it and when I do it is usually in their defense.

After we had talked it out she told me she knew I just needed to blow off steam. I'm glad that we have that solid of a relationship, that it could be fixed so quickly. I am very sorry for losing it, and she is right. Some of it was frustration with her... most of it was frustration with a lot of other people.

Things have been crazy around here this past year and a half. We've taken on more and more responsibility and had less and less time as a family. Having a strong family is important to all of us. I had to step back and remind myself that my goal as a parent is not to control them but to teach them how to control themselves.

We don't have a whole lot of time left to enjoy the mother-child bond that we have now. Very soon, she will be an adult in her own right. Our bond will always be there, but it will change when her focus changes.Becoming a wife. Becoming a mother. These things are only a few years away now.

I don't want to spend what time we have left destroying what we have built. I want to spend it building a new relationship. A relationship of equality.
Sometimes, we make mistakes. I should have ended the conversation before it got to that point. She knows she shouldn't have said the things she did. Apologies can go a long way when they are sincere.