The other day I asked my 6-year-old to clean up her craft mess and after a couple minutes of back and forth where she tried to negotiate, she responded, “Enough, MOM! I’ve had it with your mouth!”
Now after I stopped seeing RED and wanting to lose my mind, I calmed down and talked to her about appropriate ways to speak, and then I realized my child was just being ME.
Ugh, cue the gut kick.
Did it sound super disrespectful coming out of her mouth? Of course! But was she just parroting something she has heard me say a million times? Yup.
It’s a hard and humbling day when you realize all the things that drive you crazy about your kid are direct traits you passed on to her. I can still in the back of my mind hear my mother telling me I need to learn to be quiet and stop always arguing. Well now that has become my favorite line to our daughter. In fact, I’m pretty sure my Mom is in heaven cracking up that my child can go 10 extra rounds over almost everything I ask her to do.
The constant need to engage, negotiate, argue is so exhausting right now. I’m kicking myself for passing those traits on to her. Nothing motivates you more to want to change your reactions than seeing them reflected back at you from your child. It’s a wake up call to work on my tone and how I speak to her. Modeling the actions I want from the start will hopefully go a long way for both of us.
I am praying that if I survive her childhood, she will become the CEO of a major corporation one day and not just run the prison gang.
For now, my new motivation is to pass on all the positive traits. Patience, kindness, humility, all things we could both benefit from. Even if I have to fake it until I make it, it’s worth it for us all.
What traits do you notice in your children that come straight from you?