Is The Instant Gratification Era Responsible For My Child’s Neediness?

mother and daughterThe past hour I’ve been trying to (mindfully, of course!) make dinner, go through the mail, empty the lunch boxes, organize the things I bought at CVS…and I’ve got nothing done. I’ve been busy playing a game of Ping-Pong. No, I haven’t been hanging out in my garage with a beer and a small paddle in hand. Rather, I’ve actually been the ball in this game of Ping-Pong, between my two daughters, going back and forth, back and forth through a series of, “Mom, can you come here?” and “Mom, I need help!” My daughters are 7½ and 10 years old. They are very capable; I’ve raised them to be this way. For years they have been very self-sufficient: both of my girls have made their beds, gotten themselves dressed, washed up, and cleaned their room, put away their laundry, and can make themselves breakfast…just to name a few of their independent abilities. I know they are capable beings. So why is it that I find myself so frustrated when they are constantly, and I mean constantly, asking me to “Come here?”

I am a really good mom: I work at being patient; I try not to raise my voice; I guide them to be their best selves; I honor their uniqueness; I’m fun and we have dance parties; I cook with them; and I snuggle them in their beds. But I think what makes me the best mom I can be is that I practice mindfulness.

I breathe. I strive at being present. I am aware of when I get caught up in my own “stuff.” I practice responding and not reacting. I try to stay connected to my intentions.

So, when being mindful, I judge myself for getting annoyed when they ask for help all the time. I think I get frustrated because it appears that they are not attempting at slowing down, stopping to think, and trying to solve the problem on their own. I have tried teaching them this; oh believe me, I am all about the teachable moments...
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