Wednesday, February 27, 2013
I've been struggling for a while with my daughter at nap time. She is three, and likely on the verge of not needing a nap every day, but she's not quite there yet. So on the weekends, I struggle with her. She will do anything and everything to stall: play, cry, read, etc...anything but actually sleep.
She's always been an easy kid. Slept through the night at 7 weeks, always happy, bright and lots of fun. So this issue has been a source of stress for me (and likely her). I am not a mom who yells often. I'm not really a person who yells often in general. But this weekend I yelled. It was Sunday afternoon. I was tired and had some things I wanted to do around the house. We'd gone through several rounds already, and I was frustrated. I yelled, and I know it scared her. I went back downstairs and had a conversation via text message with another mother - a friend whom I admire as a mom. We talked about my frustration, and feelings of failure, and possible solutions to the issue. At the end of that conversation, I realized that I was pushing to0 hard for a nap, and that I had handled it terribly.
I sat for a few minutes, thinking about the situation. I felt terribly for frightening my daughter. So, I went upstairs and knelt down on her floor. I told her that I was sorry for getting angry with her and losing my temper. Her response? "It's okay Mommy, I still lub you", followed by her launching herself into my arms for a hug. What an amazing little person I am blessed to call mine.
There are several reasons I felt it important to apologize to her. I think it's important that she understand that I am fallible. She needs to see that everyone makes mistakes. That way, maybe when she makes one it won't make her feel like less of a person.
I think it is important that she understand that I will admit when I am wrong. It will teach her to do the same. Stubborn for the sake of being right gets no one anywhere good. I'd like to teach her to admit when she is wrong, and to learn from the mistake. Also, if she knows I will admit it when I am wrong, perhaps she'll trust me more, even when she thinks I don't know what I'm talking about. Hopefully, she'll come to know that I am guiding her based upon my experiences and mistakes.
It is important that she hears me apologize when I am wrong, so she learns to do the same.
It is important that she understand that people can make mistakes, apologize, and move on. Her declaration of love after my apology made me so proud of her, and humbled me.
As a mother, I believe it is my job to teach her how to interact with people, and give her the best possible foundation for relationships throughout her life. If that means I'm on my knees in her room telling her I'm sorry and asking for forgiveness for a mistake I made, I'll gladly do it every time.