Restraint

Lately I have been working with my daughter, who is nine, on learning to pause and think before speaking or acting impulsively. Now, I realize that asking a kid to do that all of the time is utterly ridiculous but I am hoping through encouragement and consistency she will begin to have an awareness about her that will set a tone throughout her life.

We have discussed how our emotions can dictate choices, words, or actions that we may later regret. We have discussed how we have the power to create both positive and negative consequences and impacts. I have told her what once was told to me:

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The irony in parenting I have found, is that often I need the practice in the very lessons I am attempting to impose. The best method of conveying life lessons are not via “Do as I say, not as I do.” but in modeling.

As of recent I have kind of sucked at the practice of restraint. I could certainly use the excuse that I am off kilter because my Dad just died. But that is an excuse. My reality is that in the last five years three members of my immediate family have died and the Universe is screaming at me to appreciate life in the present because it can change all too quickly. I need to practice being my best version of me every.single.day…………Which means being more consistent in restraint. Recognizing when my job is simply to hold space or allow people the latitude to make mistakes (or not) without my opinion. To do no harm. To live in love. To understand that we are all doing our very best. I have the power to choose how I behave in my interactions with others regardless of theirs’.

I don’t usually do the whole “new year’s resolution” thing. However, I do like to review the year, assess and create personal goals. This practice will definitely be at the top of my list. Much like my nine year old, I am sure I will falter at times. But creating the awareness and the opportunity for growth, then modeling the behavior and modeling how I respond when I falter is sure to be invaluable to myself, my girl and all those who I interact with.

What are your thoughts about this practice? Do you pause and censor your words through the three gates?

xxxxx

Melissa

8 thoughts on “Restraint

  1. I always try to think before I speak. I personally think I have great restraint. I’ve always had a great deal of patience so I think that helps with restraint. Asking a kid to have restraint will be very trying I would imagine. I dont have kids but I have nieces and nephews and my 7 year old niece there is just no way lol! But its wonderful what you’re doing. I’m not normal, lol! So things like restraint, self control, over indulgence I don’t have issues. I’m not sure where I came from

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    1. What a gift you have! I tend to speak first think later. That can get you in a lot of trouble. I can be impulsive when emotional. But I am practicing and improving my restraint. Thanks for sharing! Have any tips for us?

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      1. You’re welcome! I don’t know that I have any tips, lol! I think this is just how I am naturally. However as I’ve gotten older my patience level is different so I have to pray more than normal. I guess just put yourself in the others persons shoes before you speak. Like how would you want someone to talk to you or consider your feelings.

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      2. for sure to putting yourself in the other person’s shoes

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  2. It’s not an excuse…..its reality for you and her. The past 5 years has been an emotional roller coaster. The loss of loved ones is hard for anyone but in your circumstance is unfathomable. Trying to just exist is a feat in itself. Let yourself cuss, be out of line, and blurt out whatever is going on at the moment. Time will heal and a new normalcy will evolve. She is a child dealing with alot of adult situations. She too will have days and let her have them. She is a great kid and will see that somethings are not nice or appropriate. You are raising her to be an extraordinary human. It will all come together with time.

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    1. Thank you for that! When you live in this world of subsequent losses your normal gets very skewed. Lord, though let’s hope we survive her verbal tantrums and mine! 🙂

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  3. Much easier said than done, however feasible.

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