What is this Letter Exchange? Before nailing down the title, let me put forth my thoughts in general. I have been proved wrong by my children that after becoming a parent that I have come to a point wherein I have done with my learning. But, it is only as a parent I began learning about taking decisions that does not involve “best for me” and “myself”. It has been five years, and every year has been a rich learning experience for me through my children.
There are times when I used to get fed up of spill overs, unexpected discharges, fighting and messy stuffs all around the home. Here, I recall an incident at an early stage of my parenthood with deprived sleep wherein I was at my hyper bawling-out at my toddler daughter for vomiting repeatedly. I still can picture her blank face not understanding a single word I said but she figured out that her mom was cross with her behaviour and so, very slowly she gave me a coy smile trying to calm my temper down. It has been years, and I still can’t get over that incident which made me realise how much does a mom’s word meant for a small child. It did not end there. There came a time when I acknowledged the truth that parenting is all about how I appear to my children.
I was beginning to see how everything links up especially when my children reciprocated my behaviour with one another – my daughter with my son and vice versa. The hugs when they are down, the temper when they are not happy with one another as well as handling and conveying things to one another.
The penalties that I thought would serve them better in fact proved me wrong. On the other hand, the rewards and praising have had a good effect on them making them feel confident and thereby improving their self-esteem. With all these in mind, I was wondering about “how not to react to children when I am angry” and came up with a simple Letter exchange.
This letter exchange in fact gave me time to cool my temper down as well as paved way to understand my kids better. It had a mutual effect on us having a heart to heart talk making me feel more positive about the things I do.
When my child is upset about something, I would pick up a sheet of paper and ask her to write what was running on her mind in points. The reasons why she was upset? What doesn’t she like to see in her mom? What does she expect? And so on depending on her situation and reasons. On completion, I let her go and would take time to read her tiny messages. A little later, we would talk about her messages putting tick wherever necessary making clear whether mom appreciates her points or not and what can be done instead of it.
And finally I ask her to tear the paper bits by bits asking her to let go any negative thoughts and put them in dustbin. By doing so, I found it was much easier to handle situations in a constructive way. This way, I was able to convey my point clearer to my child as well as I understood her expectation.
Children always get moulded by the people around them. Judging them by their behaviour is like judging ourselves. Even for the sake of arguments, it is always better to exchange sensitive topics between couples when the kids are not around. However unhappy or stressed, looking after our kids becomes a necessity and for a parent, their kids only reap things that have been sowed on them. And I sincerely hope that this letter exchange will help both parents and kids to reap benefits.
Uma Maheswari Anandane is a mother of two kids, an Engineer by Education and a poet by passion. She pampers her thoughts through blogging at MomScribe, Rhythmus and Pondicherry Wiki. Sometimes, she goes to any extent to know about the impossible reading about stars and fourth dimensions to quench her curious mind. She had the privilege to author two eBooks on poetry, one at amazon and the other making itself to big portals like iTunes, Sony and Barnes &Nobles. Whenever time permits, she also writes articles for websites and other small scale magazines.