A little over two years ago, I was at a meeting for women. Various women were speaking on various things, from motherhood, to organizing, to beauty. One speaker in particular stood out to me. She commented that she never let her children leave for school on a bad note. If there was something that needed to be discussed, she waited until they were home for the day.
It stuck with me because initially, I wasn’t sure I agreed with that. I thought it was best to address issues as soon as they arise. However, I really respected this woman. She had older children, two of whom I had worked with as teenagers and found them to be delightful, good people. I believe in results, and I also really soak in what women older and wiser than myself have to say on things. I knew she had raised good children, so I analyzed her comment.
I knew I believed that home should be a safe place. A sanctuary. A child should know that at home, there is unconditional love. No matter what the world treats that child like, he knows he can come home to a family who loves him no matter what.
But I also believe it is a parents job to correct children when needed. I also believed that addressing issues as soon as possible was the most effective in correction.
As the years have passed, I have fully come to agree with her.
Mom really sets the tone for the attitude of every person in her family. If I get after Brayden before he leaves for school, he is headed out in a funk. He is left to face the challenges of the day feeling bad from the beginning. It sets the day up for failure.
Addressing an issue before a child leaves for school most likely won’t give the two of you time to come to a full resolution. You are racing against the clock telling you when the conversation is over. After school, you have a lot more time to talk it out at a natural pace.
I am not talking about a simple “mommy look” when the child is doing something small he shouldn’t do. A two second look from mom doesn’t ruin the day. But a 5 minute lecture as he walks out the door will.
A child old enough to go to school is old enough and smart enough to accept correction 8 hours later. The child can remember the events of that morning just fine.
So as you send your child out that door, send him with full confidence that home is where he is loved. Home is a happy and safe place to be–a place he wants to come home to. Home has a mom who loves him and respects him and has the wisdom to time correction appropriately. Home is a refuge and sanctuary.
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