Thursday, November 17, 2011

Control Yourself

It's been a CRAZY month around here!  While it may have seemed I had fallen off the face of the Earth, the truth is quite the opposite.  I have been so buried in the chaos of fall activities, I haven't had time to come up for air. There have been a dozen posts floating around in my head, but I have yet to get them to paper.  Life seems to be taking a quick break before the holidays, so I will try to get some of them out before a second round of action ensues.
 In the meantime, I will leave you with this story.  Brooklyn is my emotional child.  She cries with the flip of a switch.  She is highly emotional and overly dramatic.  Lately, her reactions have been even more exaggerated and frequent and it finally became more than I could handle.  After days of non-stop sobbing, I decided to try a positive approach.  We made a chart that reads "I Can Control My Emotions", we hung it in the kitchen, and bought a unicorn purse as a reward for filling the chart.  I then explained to Brooklyn that, while we all get upset and disappointed, we chose how we respond.  It's OK to be sad, but crying through the entire mall because we couldn't buy a pair of shoes is overreacting and out of control. 

To be honest, I had my doubts.  This kids cries about EVERYTHING, so getting her to stop and think about a response might be a long shot.  Would you know that she has stopped herself mid-tear and adjusted her response consistently since we put up that chart?!?  Things that I was sure would push her over the edge have not shaken her resolve.  She is getting that unicorn!  Last week, she asked me if I knew how she was controlling her emotions.  "I always have that unicorn on my mind!" she said. 

Our focus makes a difference.  We are all capable of change, but we must focus our attention to the matter.  If my little redhead five year old can stop herself from having a meltdown when I ordered a blueberry scone instead of the banana bread she requested, there is no problem to big.  Just go buy yourself a unicorn.