Thursday, January 31, 2013

Day 14: Humour 20 days towards more mindful parenting

Last year I attempted to go through the twenty day exercise of being a more mindful parent that was started at The Parenting Passageway. However I only lasted until day 13 and even then it was several months between posts 11 and 13. Well as fate would have it Carrie is going through this exercise with her readers for the second time and it looks like I can pick up where I left off.

The topic is humour. Perhaps it is time for me to finally read Leonard Cohen's "Playful Parenting". I've had it for years and read sections of it as needed but I've never read it front to back. Maybe it would give me some tools and insights into my broody son that I plopped in the snow is his sock feet this morning. Yes bad parent moment. He did get his boots and coat on eventually but what could have been a funny, break the ice, moment just ended in a whole lot of mad.

I remember when I was younger I felt embarrassed and totally lacked confidence in anything except my academic abilities. Even then I didn't put those on the line in anything I could fail at. I remember a particularly humiliating moment when I grabbed something off a shared plate at a restaurant at dinner of which there were only two. My parents were shocked and let me know in no uncertain terms that it was unacceptable. I felt the sting of humiliation on my cheeks and in my eyes and the awful fluttering in my chest. I don't know if I apologized... I hung my head but I doubt I apologized. It always felt embarrassing to say I was sorry, still does. Watching my son I often wonder if he feels the same way. If my harsh words and criticizing tone that comes out all too often make him feel ashamed. I need to learn to laugh at myself more. My husband has helped me with this over the years by gently teasing but even he knows he can't push it too far or I will clam up and get angry. Wait... that sounds just like my boy. How can I help him learn to laugh at himself when I have barely learned to do it myself.

He is boiling over right now and perhaps laughing is just what he needs to get him to express himself. He is doing a drama class in school. It's mandatory and he hates it. He hates putting himself out there and feeling silly. Perhaps we need to institute a little silly into our day. It might be awkward for the both of us since serious is our main game but it is something to try. Right now we need something.

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