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:
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?