Feeling settled, learning from our mistakes, and falling in love all over again seems to be how it is around our house lately. I am smitten. There are so many things to celebrate coming up this next week. Surfer Boy’s birthday, the end of our kids fall ball season, giving thanks. Not to mention that we are getting married in just 8 days. The joy I am feeling lately seems to outweigh the all the stress of our hustling and planning. I have been known to accentuate the positive and see the good. However, I have been missing a big piece of the picture when it comes to being positive. This morning a light bulb went off, and if you knew me this would not shock you. Kristen with another bright idea! Shocker!
I realized that Surfer Boy and I are still not getting it quite right. We want to blend our kids peacefully and we have climbed mountains hand in hand since the first day, but why is it still not quite right? Even though we try to calmly talk to each other while trying to be patient and lovingly learn to co parent together, we keep correcting each other’s kids or discussing how they didn’t do their best that day. “So and so was OK today but we had this problem and that problem”. We calmly try to thank each other and then go speak to our kids about these issues. The reality is, those issues aren’t always that big of a deal. In turn, we get frustrated at each other for pointing out the errors in our kids. Even if I try to hold in those hurt feelings, a little resentment builds. That is not exactly what I had in mind for a good head start to our marriage and family. No thank you – resentment! I think his kids are GREAT, and I truly care for them like my own and he feels the same for mine. There is that fine line I have written about before. The fine line where he parents his kids, I parent mine. There is a glitch in the system! So if I am home in the mornings with our kids when he is at work and he is there with them in the afternoon while I am at work, who parents them then when we can’t be there? I do not want us tattling to each other on our kids. Yuck! Who cares if I had to tell my daughter five times to get out of bed and his son five times to brush his teeth. Will that matter next week? They won’t really change until they grow up a little bit, and for the most part they keep to the rules and routines we gave them. They are good kids. So, what did they do right? My bright idea instead is to ACCENTUATE THE POSITIVE. I feel that the little day to day grumblings do not really matter. I would rather motivate my family instead of tear them down.
Instead of sending my good morning email to Surfer Boy letting him know how my 14 year old stepson left the dog water empty again, left back door open in the garage all night, left the milk out all night, and didn’t wake up on his own again today. Oui! I found the one thing he did good and said to him this morning:
“Good Morning love! All was good this morning, Ace helped me pack his lunch. Have a great day, and can’t wait to see you tonight”.
My new goal is to do this every day. How has positive reinforcement worked in your family?