I have come to the conclusion I have a BIG mouth.... Sometimes
I was having lunch with my mom the other day and as we were talking I realized that she did not lecture me when I was growing up... If I was bad - I would know it - simply by her disappointed tone and her words... Her words were short and simple. I remember hating that I disappointed her and promising myself I would do better... My dad on the other hand - would go on and on and on.... He would work himself up into a full on anger fest.. Many times the offense was something as small as putting an empty milk carton back into the refrigerator... I grew up fearing my dad - not knowing when he would explode over a little thing... He was unpredictable... and I realized - that many times in my anger - I was dad.... I lecture... I yell and my kids would tune me out... My kids don't fear me - they humored me and looking back I think
A little while ago - I decided no more yelling... no more lectures. Already - I see a huge difference - not only in my kids' behavior but also in my stress level.. I have realized that my girls know what needs to be done in school - they also know right from wrong... I have let go of trying to control results... I have also loosened the apron strings a tad more.... I will continue to be involved in their studies.. their activities... And I will always be a parent - teaching right from wrong... holding them responsible for their actions.. Praising them on their accomplishments.. Loving them unconditionally... The difference now - is no more lecturing.. no more yelling..
Yesterday as we were driving home from school - my oldest asked me if I was able to see her grades on line... I replied that yes they were finally up - this is our conversation - it opened my eyes to many things...
Nicole: "Did you check to see if my grades were posted on line yet?"
Me: " Yes, they are there - you have all Cs and one D." I said very calmly..
Nicole: " Are you mad?"
Me: "No, I do know that you can do better - you are right on the border of
getting B's in 3 of the classes and the D you are less than a percent
away from a C"
Nicole: "Are you mad? I'm really sorry - I will do better."
Me: "I'm not mad. I told you I'm done with yelling and getting mad about your
grades. You are a very smart girl and if you want to raise them up you
Nicole: "I'm really sorry - please don't be mad!"
Me: "I am not mad - really I'm not - do I sound mad?"
Nicole: "You sound normal but-I think I'd rather have you yelling at me because then I would know for sure you care."
Me: "I care and I know you can make it better - I know you - you like to have
good grades." (she has always had an A average)
Nicole: "Yes, I do. I'm really sorry - I will raise them to As and Bs"
This conversation really showed me that I have been putting too much importance in the results of their efforts rather than the efforts they are making... Nicole's grades have improved since the beginning of the year - she no longer has the ability to text on her cell and she has realized that the texting she had done at the beginning of the school year in class really did damage her grades - she is trying to catch up and I am proud of her efforts.... and Yes, I told her that - several times.... But I did not lecture about it.... :)