Seriously. I often have to stop myself when I recognize that I’m getting frustrated. I follow the old advice and “count to ten, then take a slow, deep breath,” and center myself. Then I force my self to smile…
My daughter is a lot like me. I see it. I recognize it. But, boy does it drive me crazy. We butt heads. A LOT. She is intense, assertive, sensitive, and stubborn. I remind myself I am always modeling social skills, and strategies for positive communication.
What’s works most often is humor. Pretending to hypnotize her this morning to get her dressed for school made her crack up and resulted in a quick and easy transition. When I see her tense up and start to resist, or if I can see she’s distracted by something more appealing than what I’m asking her to do, I often turn to using a funny accent, speaking in animal sounds or talking like a robot. It works almost every time.
Her sense of humor is complex and far beyond her age. She understands sarcasm, and often changes adult humor to fit new situations. She plays along with my ridiculous acting. Sometimes she jumps in and adds to the game. It’s fun, and feels so much better than nagging.
She’s also creative, musical, passionate and loving. She’s easy to love even when I feel like I’m about to blow my top. And even when I am that frustrated, I enjoy laughing with her. Using humor keeps me sane. And the best part is, it works.