Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Poker Face-Day 7

On the few occasions I've played poker, I did not do so well.  As I mentioned, I'm not so great at hiding things. 

As such, I think it's important to address my wise cousin's comments about yesterday's post (she is a doctor in Sweden):

"No no... not a poker face.
I have had SO many patients (psychiatry) lately coming from "perfect homes" where emotions were not allowed. It is not good. They can't identify what they are feeling so they just ignore it and give out all kinds of mixed signals.
The ones from homes where everything is dealt with openly are doing much better.
Let them see your emotions and let them see you deal with them. "real life" is full of problems and that is OK."

These are VERY good points and I thank you, J, for reminding us that kids benefit from seeing emotion/reality.  I guess I was thinking more along the lines of not freaking out if we're running late, not losing my cool over spilt milk, not going into a tizzy when the kids are running around screaming and chasing each other when I've asked them to clean up their toys (which they are about to trip over).

While I wish I could have more of a poker face (in general, not just with kids), I really just want to improve my ability to moderate some of my occasionally extreme (negative) emotions.  While it's important for my kids to understand that emotion is a healthy part of life, I want them to have many opportunities to mirror the positivity they witness in their Father and I. 

What I'm really trying to say is that I don't want them to mirror me when I'm walking around with a twisted face and ranting in my head.  I want to help them mirror as much positivity and patience as possible.  That means I want to feel as much of it as possible.  Part of that is letting go a bit more and not giving into the desire to meltdown when my buttons are pushed.  And part of that is trying to take a step back, take a DEEP breath, and realize that the issues we are facing are not deal breakers (thank goodness).  Easily said.  Not so easily done. 

If you have tips on controlling your parental angst, feel free to share.


Anonymous said...

My latest trick is a cup of coffee, a glass of emergen-C (natural energy and immune system booster) and playing my "Happy-Sing Out-loud" play-list on the kitchen radio. It eventually puts me on a good mood, the kids come in to dance and it helps turning the negative cycle into a positive one.


Anonymous said...

One of the best pieces of advice I got, when I was near the edge a few years ago, was to "stop trying and give up". Weirdly enough that was just what I needed to hear. Sometimes we have these visions of perfection that are actually impossible to obtain by trying. It makes me remember the sign Mom used to have: "..my house is dirty enough to be happy" .

I think the music and coffee trick above is to me a perfect example of surrendering yourself to the situation.

I think you are a GREAT mom! Hope you can ease up on yourself... Hugs, Janet