Last week I was on the phone with a client who is a mom…a great mom. She was talking about the stresses she’s having with work and some close friends. With everything going on, her main concern was her children.
She said, “I want to hold it together in front of my kids.”
We talked about what we communicate to our children and how hard it can be to truly reveal how we’re feeling, day in and day out.
I find comfort when I’m aware of these three simple steps to communicate with children:
1. Give Love
2. Give Support
3. MODEL what it looks like to RECEIVE love and RECEIVE support.
Step three is the one that keeps me busy. It’s the one most of us, especially Mothers, have a tough time processing. I write and speak extensively about modeling (in every space we enter) because what all my clients have in common is that they want - this person to do that thing – then they will be satisfied. They are struggling because the people around them are not producing the results they seek.
Great communicators are models of what they want from others.
“Modelhood” is the word my client and I came up with during our conversation. We were laughing about it because it merged her desire to look like a fashion model and to embrace motherhood simultaneously.
We can model in the simplest ways. Someone recently asked me how my son knew to bring my tea to me at night. I explained that he has seen me fix it and do it for myself for years. He sees me practicing my little ritual and when the kettle whistles - if he’s closest to it - he turns it off, pours the tea and brings it to me.
When mothers model loving themselves the way they do their children, they are laying the groundwork for their children to become strong adults.
Enjoy rituals of self-care like a nighttime bath, prayer, a daily walk and even sharing the story of a small victory you had. Say YES to yourself often and do it so well that your children learn how you take care of you so someday they will be able to take care of themselves AND the people they will love.
Mothers are the builders of the builders of the future. Model that and have a Happy Mother’s Day!
Jeanne M. Stafford is a professional speaker, communications trainer and improv performer. Stafford trains her audiences and clients to communicate through conflict by thinking YES. Jeanne is writing a book about communication techniques she learned through her adventures with Improv, Asperger’s and Politics. Sign up for her FREE 30 Days of YES and find out how using YES Words can empower you to possibility. Follow Jeanne on twitter @jeannestafford and visit her website http://jeannemstafford.com