Children are like sponges; but they often soak in more of what we do, rather than what we say. See where your Zen ranks, and what lessons you may actually be teaching your children.
- As you awake in the morning and slowly notice that your alarm clock did not go off, you most likely react the following way:
- a) I jump up and start running around and yelling that we all slept in, and that everyone is going to be late. I am now very frazzled that the whole day will be wrong.
- b) I can’t believe this happened. I don’t think I can handle this. This is just too much to deal with.
- c) Oh well, everyone should get ready themselves. It’s not my job to get them ready.
- d) Well, we all must have needed some extra sleep. Now that we’ve gotten some, let’s try to get ready and enjoy our day.
- As you are ready to walk out the door to take your child to school, your child says that he/she forgot about a project that was due today. Your response most likely is:
- a) Are you kidding? Oh no! You are going to get a failing grade now. Your teacher will think I am the worst parent ever.
- b) I can’t handle this. Why does this always happen to us. We are always unprepared for everything.
- c) Well, you’re going to have to tell the teacher you forgot. It’s not my fault you can’t remember your homework.
- d) There isn’t time to do it now, but we can try to work on it this evening. I can call or email your teacher and tell her we made an honest mistake and forgot and see if we can turn it in tomorrow.
- Later at your child’s softball tournament, your child strikes out to lose the season-ending game, and looks to you as some of the parents look at you in frustration and ask if you have been practicing at home. Your most likely response is:
- a) Making nervous excuses, explaining yourself and how often you practiced, fumbling around while your palms sweat and your heart races.
- b) You shut down. You look down at you feet and avoid contact with anyone as the tears well up in your eyes. You think you are the worst parent and feel overwhelmed.
- c) Sigh in frustration, and walk away.
- d) Smile at your child and say that all the kids worked hard this season and had fun and learned as a team, while acknowledging the other teams efforts, too.
- While driving in the car one night, a car speeds passed you and cuts you off. You likely respond:
- a) I was driving fine. Why did he cut me off? I’m a good driver. I didn’t do anything wrong. He must of thought I wasn’t driving the right way.
- b) Everyone on the road is crazy these days. I must be a terrible driver and wasn’t paying attention. I feel so terribly.
- c) Everyone is a jerk. That just confirms it.
- d) They seem like they are in a hurry. I hope everything is okay.
- As you tuck you child in at night, he/she mentions to you that another child was unkind to him/her. Your response is:
- a) Why would they be mean to you? You never do anything wrong? What are we going to do? This is awful.
- b) I’m so sorry honey. I don’t know what to say. People are just mean. Why does stuff like this always happen to you?
- c) Kids are mean. What are ya gonna do?
- d) Happy and content people aren’t mean. That just means that there is something going on inside of them. That has nothing to do with you. I love you. I’m sorry that their struggling and they took it out on you.
If you answered mostly A’s, you most likely live in the future and become anxious with set backs or troubles. Try to realize that not everyone is looking at you under the microscope, and that you don’t always have to explain yourself to everyone or justify your beliefs or actions.
If you answered mostly B’s, you might take things too personally. In life sometimes people do things and they have nothing to do with you.
If you answered mostly C’s, you might be disconnected with your child. Be aware that you may shut down and seem like you don’t care when your child reaches out to you.
If you answered mostly D’s, good job on being Zen! Life happens and if you can learn how to role with it, you will be ahead of the game.