Another tip I felt was worth further mention comes from my lengthy list (18.i), “Be attentive and put your phone away.”
This tip falls in line with last week’s tip, “Behave yourself and be respectful.” It holds the same intention but a little more directive
I consider my family to be very fortunate cell phones were not in play during the parenting years. I’m not sure how attentive I could have been with that constant distraction. My parenting and attentiveness would surely have taken a significant hit, no question.
I do think phone management should be a priority in parenting. I know for sure, kids are always looking for their parents’ eyes. Whether it be from the crib, the stage, or the sidelines they are always looking. In their parents’ eyes they find encouragement, comfort and safety. Kids rely on our eyes for determination, reassurance, to identify family values and most importantly their own personal value. Kids look to our eyes to gauge their importance.
When they make a good play, or a bad play, their little eyes dart to their parents. I always want Michael to know I’m watching.
In tip 18, A to Z, other topics such as apologizing, communication and personal management are all a part of recommended behaviour. I guess things largely fall under the category of maturity.
Further phrasing found in the list is a direct message to “contain your shit.” In retrospect, that phrase should headline the tip.
My shit was, and can still be, difficult to contain. Regardless, it is my responsibility to contain it.
For those of us who have ever been in an airport, handled a rude customer, waiting far too long in the Doctor’s office or even held a job; we have the ability to contain it, a proven ability.
Sometimes at home, with children, we just have to require more from ourselves. I don’t think home or familiarity gives us the right to be disrespectful to other people, even if we are paying the rent.
Sometimes parenting is a matter of raising our personal standards. I’ve heard it said, treat your kids the same way you’d treat the neighbour’s kids – something to considered.
I understand home is where we’re comfortable and where we let our guard down. That said, I promote guard up until bedtime.
I never felt just because I was in my home I had the right to flail about, tantrum, aggress, rant, vent or abuse. I guess I never really felt it was “my home.” It was our home.
While Michael was watching, I was behaving respectfully. I did not loose my shit in front of him. I ensured his environment was calm and ideal for his development.
Our home was a safe place, not my personal stomping ground.