The weather today is reminiscent of the scene in Mary Poppins when Mary first blows into town. The winds here are insane. I keep waiting for Mary to blow into my house and take over. I wrote this post a while ago, but the weather made me think today was a good time to share it.
One of the great parts about being parents is sharing your childhood favorites with your kids. This weekend we watched Mary Poppins. Faith loved it. The boys tuned in now and then but mostly were busy with action figures. As I watched, I realized that as a mom I see things a bit differently these days. Here is what Mary taught me.
If you don’t scold and dominate us, we will never give you cause to hate us:
Jane and Michael sing it in their nanny letter and boy is it true.
As I teacher I knew this. I was really good at managing a class of kids. Let me explain-my first year I was terrible at managing kids. I was not the head of that class-two seven year old boys were. So, over the summer I took a class and learned to master the art of planning ahead and setting proactive expectations for kids that allowed them to behave appropriately for a learning environment. I understood what motivated kids and I worked within those boundaries to get them to do what I needed them to do. For the next six years, I had few problems. They learned and we were all happy. I was like a Teacher Jedi-I had the power and I used it for good Yoda-I did.
Why then, as a parent do I forget these simple rules sometimes? Why do I expect that yelling gets the job done? Why do I threaten, or bribe or beg? Why am I reduced to a blathering maniac when I want to get out of the house on time, or clean for guests or finish a dinner?
I know this doesn’t work and yet…
Oh Mary, Jane and Michael-please send help!
In every job that must be done there is an element of fun. Find the fun and SNAP the job’s a game.
When the two oldest were younger we had a clean up song. We could get our entire basement cleaned up with very little drama. We sang, we pitched toys we shot baskets with baby dolls. It was all good.
Now, cleaning the basement is as easy as a root canal, but give them a spray bottle for and those kids are like Merry Maids. I need to find the fun again for some of their chores. Putting toys away stinks, but if I remind them we can make it less torturous, I will probably enjoy it more too. Now, if only I had the magic elixir that helps the medicine go down easier.
Mary’s most important lesson comes somewhere after the fox hunt with Bert. She is desperately trying to get the Laughers off the ceiling when she decides to just join them instead.
There you go moms-when it comes to laughing, don’t even try to beat them. Everybody wins if you just join them.
Now I have to go and secure my china against the 7:00 canon blast!
P.S. Looking for more parenting guidance and tips for self-care? Check out From Chaos to Calm a guided training to help you feel better in this tough season.
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