My daughter, newly potty trained, surprised me recently by literally cheering for me when I, too, successfully went in the potty. (Real life with toddlers, right?)
“YAY Mommy!!! Mommy get a Snoopy sticker??”
We have been clapping and cheering for her during this process for months (so many months), and the Snoopy stickers were her favorite reward. So, of course, she did what she had seen me do for her, and she thought I should have a reward too.
And I said, “You know what? Yes. YES. Mommy does need a Snoopy sticker.”
We have a quirky garage door that you have to fiddle with most mornings to get it to work right. I’m a mess of sighs and muttering and trying this and that, and finally it works. And, again, my daughters, with their clapping hands in the air, scream, “YAY Mommy!!!”
I do a clumsy handstand or cut their sandwich in a heart-shape or something else that seems so everyday to me, and they are so very impressed.
Part of that is the beauty and magic of childhood, but what if we took some cues from our children and treated ourselves that way more often? What if we also clapped and cheered for other moms rather than judging or criticizing?
I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty tough on myself. Really tough, actually. Constantly focusing on what I didn’t do or didn’t do well instead of what I did accomplish. Worrying over a decision long made or whether I’m doing the best job I can at the multiple jobs I’m doing. And too many of the moms I know have a similar attitude.
But our children are, indeed, taking their cues from us. If they always see us being overly hard on ourselves and on others, at some point, these tiny souls are going to stop cheering and start criticizing.
You cleaned the whole kitchen after supper?
Woohoo!! You’re awesome!!
You were on time to work today?
Get yourself a Snoopy sticker!!
You made it through the day with a smile on your face? Bubble bath for you!!
Your kids were fed three meals today?
Ice cream for dessert!!
Give it a try with me. Choose celebrating instead criticizing, and, when you do, make sure your children are watching and celebrating with you.