As a teacher you can always tell what parents say at home. Even how they speak to their children.
I’ve heard encouraging voices and critical ones. Children who spout politics and current events as though they spend their evenings watching the 5:00 news. Even kids who are mean for the sake of being mean.
As a mother, I’ve become more and more aware of the tone and words I use.
Am I being more positive than negative? Encouraging more than I’m critical? Am I taking the time to look for the little things my child is doing well and verbally appreciating it?
Before quarantine I could easily tell you I did this well. Very well. In fact, not being with my family 24/7 made this easy.
Now . . . on month five of being at home. ALL. THE. TIME. I have to say that I am making a mental effort to be this way. It’s no longer natural and easy. In fact, I’ve lost all patience for being a sweet, nicely spoken mother.
The other day I heard a little voice say, “You doing a good job, Mama!”
A few days later I even got a sticker for giving out snacks. (I had a good laugh about that.)
If I’ve learned anything from listening to my kids during this time, it’s that we are all better mothers than we believe we are. You can hear it in their voices.
I know we’ve all stopped ourselves when we sounded like our mothers, but even better is when you hear your voice in your child. Especially when it’s something encouraging and sweet.