I kind of had a mini revelation yesterday, and while some of you will probably read this and think I'm stupid that this concept just now occurred to me, perhaps a few of you will read it and apply it to a situation with your kiddos.
And I'm not just talking about babies and things like not touching the stove and electrical outlet safety.
I'm actually talking about situations with Kaylee, my 8 year old. I hate to admit it, but on days that my patience isn't at it's usual all-star high level (ha!) it's very easy for me to get frustrated with her .... for things that she doesn't already know! (which obviously isn't very fair)
Case in point:
Lately, her and two little neighborhood girls have been playing in our yard all day, every day. And as all kids do, they go through a lot of drinks and snacks throughout the day. I went outside today to find juice spilled on the driveway and popcorn crumbs on the porch. I was annoyed, and I immediately snapped at her that it wasn't ok to have stuff spilled everywhere and that she needed to get it cleaned up right away.
She did as she was told, of course, but a few minutes later, I stopped and thought about the situation.
I wasn't happy with the spilled juice and food because I knew it would attract ants and other yucky bugs.
At the ripe old age of 8, Kaylee doesn't really realize that. Nor had I told her my expectations regarding having snacks outside.
And had I stopped and explained the situation to her, and why we don't want the crumbs and spills, she would have understood. And then it would be something that she would know for next time.
Instead, all she knows was that I snapped at her, and was probably wondering why those crumbs warranted mom getting upset at her.
So, boys and girls, the moral of the story is to take the time to talk to your kids. I know we all want our kids to obey, without questioning our motives, but taking the time to explain our motives and reasoning really does make a difference.