Today I had one of my oldest and loveliest friends, Katie, over with her two year old twins Ava and Luke. The twins are about 5 months older than Noah so when we were both on maternity leave we saw each other more often.
I remember the real shock when she discovered she was having twins. Katie realised that she had a real challenge ahead of her with two babies on the way. She has an older daughter Isla who was about to start school at the time the twins were born so there was a lot going on.
So a couple of years on it makes me so happy to see what an amazing mum she is. The children are really calm and content and seem so well behaved, just like their mum! Seeing this really got me thinking about why our children grow up the way they do.
The thing that always strikes me is how much children copy. When Noah and I took the twins up to see Ladybird I heard him telling them to wait and be careful about the road. This is exactly what I normally say to him and he definitely was copying my behaviour. Sometimes children repeat things that we wish they wouldn’t, they let all sorts of secrets slip, usually when we are least expecting it!
The copying trait can be put to good use though. As parents an awareness that our children copy can really be a great incentive to be mindful. If we are calm around our children they really pick up on this and over time and they too will grow up being calm.
Calm doesn’t mean boring and it doesn’t mean quiet. They still run, jump, shout and have fun. It is about having a calm mind, not worrying, not feeling the need to seek attention all of the time, not being clingy, not being anxious. It is about enjoying life as it comes and not having a hectic mind.
So next time you catch yourself shouting at your children to hurry up think twice. Next time you are getting cross with them and hear yourself demanding that they stop whatever they are doing, take a pause. Think about your own behaviour in that moment. Could you be dealing with the situation more effectively. Make your behaviour the sort of behaviour that you want to see in your children and before long you will notice real improvements.
Come on a Revitalise Day to see how you could be making the most of your children. Getting more mindful would be great for you and for them.