It’s my goal, and I often fall short. It occurs to me that it’s not necessarily something I can do, so falling short isn’t entirely my fault. Harmony isn’t something one person can create – it’s dependent on a whole bunch of factors (and by factors, I mean cherubs) working together. And because it’s so important to me, I think sometimes I miss the good stuff because the bad stuff is so much easier for me to get upset about. Because there are moments of absolute bliss… like Julie and Jessie playing together in the bathtub, and Sam working with Julie and showing her how to color. And even more rare, Sam and Jessie actually being kind and buddies. Those two compete all.the.time and it’s not pleasant.
BUT – my new goal is to not notice the negative and only focus on the positive. I tried it last night, when Sam was being a pain. He was mad about something, and was lying on the bed playing the poor me game. The one where he moans periodically and talks about how horrible his life is (I remember now, he was mad that neither Marc or I have a smartphone, and thus, he’d deprived the opportunity to play on our phones. Despite the DS, the computer, and the Wii that we just installed.) I just ignored him, whereas normally I’d have tried to console him or (more likely) lost patience and gotten mad at him for wallowing in misery instead of moving on. Last night, I just totally ignored it.
AND IT WORKED. After about ten minutes of lying there, moaning and writhing around, he just chilled out and forgot about it. It was lovely. Far more efficient than anything else I’ve come up with…
Maybe that’s the key – stop trying so hard to prevent bad behavior and only pay attention to good. It doesn’t seem logical, and there’s a huge part of me that thinks it won’t work. Crappy behavior should be recognized, and clearly designated as not tolerable. You don’t get to say crappy mean things to your sibling and make him/her feel horrible. BUT what if I just ignored it?
It might not work, but I’m going to give it a shot, at least until Christmas. Just ignore crappy – and focus on happy.