I have always thought that children learn what they live.
I have always thought that as a mama, I should live how I wish my children to be.
It’s not always easy, that is true. When tiredness prevails, tempers tend to fray. Patience tends to be in sparse supply and I usually end up in ranting mama mode which I sincerely apologise for later.
Today I had these thoughts confirmed in a mahoosive way, and it really did make me want to strive once more to think before I act. The first time was in a really sweet, I-wanna-be-like-mama kinda way which was just scrumptious. Amara was watching as I was doing a silly dance to a tune and she began to mimic my actions. Her arms were waving, her feet were tapping – at one point even her bum gave a wiggle *blush*. The look of concentration on her face as she studied what I was doing was intense. She would stare at my actions, then glance at her hands or feet to ensure they were emulating. It really made me think that if she wanted to copy me doing silly dancing, what else would she want to learn by seeing me do. Hmmm.
The second time was not quite so cutesy. I was feeling a little tired, a bit overwhelmed with everything I was trying to fit into my day, and my patience was on the low level line. As Amara attempted to climb on to the piano for what felt like the zillionth time today, my voice was raised. I sounded agitated and cross. The words ‘oh for goodness sake!’ may or may not have left my lips as I tutted, lifted her down not quite as gently as usual and tried to encourage another source of entertainment. I thought nothing of it – until later on. As I was sat emailing a friend I was listening to the interactions between the children in the room. For the most part things were peaceful. Then I heard ‘Oh for goodness sake Amara’ with a tut and an angry tone. It was Taisia, acting out losing her patience with her younger sibling, just as I had done previously. She was demonstrating my behaviour earlier and it made me feel like poop.
Someone once said we should ‘parent as though someone is watching’.
For me, I was made aware today that someone is watching and I need to parent accordingly. I’m never going to be perfect, I’m human and I accept that, but I hope that today’s experience will add a little ‘just remember’ signal to my mama tool chest.
PS. There was a third time that further demonstrated this emulation theory. A child that will remain nameless to save shame was picking their nose and Amara then felt the need to try it herself. Finger straight up for a good ol’ dig around.