Friday, March 15, 2019

Mindset... it always starts with you.

 Today as we took a look around a new park Link was in a particularly foul mood. I think he stayed up too late last night. In his mind, everything was against him. He didn't like the park (his sister thought it was the best park she had "ever been too"), he was tired, he was sweaty, the bugs were biting... if it could go wrong for him it did and even things that were not wrong were aggravating him.

I found myself telling him straighten up, turn your attitude around, decide to have a good time and you will immediately start having one. After passing on this advice a few times, I found myself getting aggravated because he was ungrateful and whiny. I was starting to snap with my responses. Suddenly it hit me... I was not following my own advice. Here I am telling him to start acting like he's having a good time and turn his attitude around in order to turn a bad day into a good one, but I was doing the exact opposite. I'm trying to teach him that external input is a small part of the equation. Events happen, good and bad... some we can control, most we cannot. What we do have total control over is our reaction. I took my own advice and examined my reactions. As we walked over the boardwalk we saw a creek and I excitedly told the kids to watch my leaf. I cast it off and they all watched with intensity as my leaf swung around the bend, almost caught on a limb and tumbled along the shallow sandy bottom out of sight.

One of Link's sisters said, "Let's race!" I agreed and encouraged Link to grab a red leaf nearby. Everyone had a leaf in the water and several were stuck. I told them all to try again, there is no limit to the race leaves you can use! Soon all were smiling and tossing in leaves as I announced the leaf race as if it were the Kentucky Derby. Link's smile soon spread to his mindset and the rest of the walk was pleasant. We all spoke in the car about mindset and how we worked together to change Link's. I told him I was proud of how he was able to turn his day around and rewarded them with some sprinkler time once we got home.

It always starts with ourselves. The only thing we can control. The sooner we learn that we cannot control others, even our children's emotions and feelings then the sooner we can look inward to find the way to help them by helping ourselves.

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