Ask yourself: “Is it Important?”
As a parent, there can be a lot of challenges. Sometimes my four-year-old gets into a state where he seems to be grumpy quite a lot and looking to fight with me on everything. When someone starts getting really confrontational with you like this, it can tend to bring out the worst in just about any individual, but is so much more complex in the parent-child relationship because you can’t just ignore or completely remove yourself from the presence of your own child when they get into these states.
But there’s a phrase that runs through my head when I start to get frustrated which serves to calm me down and keep me grounded, and that is: “Is it important?”.
The full context and meaning here comes from the Dianetic Family Code in the book Child Dianetics by L. Ron Hubbard. Point #3 of that code is:
“Use the question, ‘Is it important?’ before taking any precipitate* action.”L. Ron Hubbard, Child Dianetics
* Precipitate: happening very quickly or too quickly without enough thought or planning. [ref]
The term “mom guilt” is something I have seen on social media a lot lately and is a topic I am very well acquainted with. Sometimes I have a hard day with my son and think afterward “I should have been more patient with him” or “I should have slowed down so it didn’t upset him”.
Using this question of “Is it important?” has really changed my relationship with mom guilt.
When I have just vacuumed the floor and my kid spills goldfish cracker dust all over the carpet I stop and think to myself “Is it important?”. The answer is no. He is 4 years old and the really important things are developing language skills, learning about dinosaurs and creating art together. Having to vacuum twice in one day is not at all important.
Sometimes small viewpoint changes can have a huge impact on our kids and by extension the world around us.
Try it out and see how your kid responds.
P.S. this also works with spouses as well. Hehe.