Our society is drowning in negativity. Everything we hear in the news is filled with despair, sickness, fear, and so forth. No wonder so many of us walk around day in and day out feeling like we have a big black cloud hovering over us. Couple that with the weather we have been having on the east coast and it is no wonder that we feel so blah!!
My children have all, at times, come home to me pouring out the horrible moments of their day. As a school counselor once told me about Middle Miss, “she walks around school with this bright cheery smile on her face and will never let any school employee know how she truly feels. But once she steps off that school bus and sees her Mom all the despair of the day comes tumbling out as she can no longer contain it.” When I heard this 9 years ago I finally felt validated. I had been telling the school how miserable she was but they didn’t believe me since she never showed any signs of distress while she was there.
It got so bad that I would have to mentally prepare myself for her arrival so that I did not drown in all her negativity. It still happens at times and I try to get her refocused. Yesterday, I realized that I need to institute “positives” in our family. Little Miss has been coming home for the past few weeks telling me how awful her day has been. I knew the last 2 months of school would be challenging for her since her teacher, who she adores, is on maternity leave but I didn’t think it would be this bad. She is having a hard time at since the class is misbehaving more due to a substitute teacher, the environment is loud and the routine is different. She, like my other two and my husband, likes routine and consistency. When the routine is off for more that a day or two her balance is shaken.
When Big Miss and Middle Miss were younger we instituted a “game” at the dinner table where we all had to say the worst thing that happened during the day and then follow it with the best thing that happened. What a difference it made! We all had an opportunity to blow off steam a bit but then immediately follow it with a positive which helped all of us end on a happy note. Somewhere along the way we stopped doing this but yesterday I decided we have to to reinstate this “game”.
I don’t know about other parents but I get hung up in my children’s moods. If they are happy it makes me happy but if they are sad or upset I can also take on their feelings which does not help me at all and I am sure it doesn’t help them either. I am learning that when I am sad I need to stay with the feeling and let it run it’s course so I can then move forward. My old way was to stifle it and bury it with a project but it kept resurfacing again and again. I am now trying to feel it so I can move forward and be done with it.
I will let you know how this works for our family and if you try this let me know how it goes for you.