MONKEY SEE, MONKEY DO

It’s a common understanding that part of good parenting involves modelling good behaviours. Children are imitators, so you can’t tell them to do something but not do it yourself. The mentality of “do as I say, not as I do” is simply unacceptable. You have to lead by example because your children look to you as their role models, they learn how to behave, act and deal with life situations by watching you. If you want your kids to have good manners, show them by saying YOUR pleases and thank-yous. If you don’t want your kids swearing, don’t curse in front of them, even if a moron cuts in front of you and nearly side swipes your car. Your children are a reflection of you, in the emotional and behavioural sense. Effectively, you are on public display, open for view and imitation twenty-four-seven.

In writing all that, I can admit that I am not a great role model. I act on whims, with logical and rational reasoning often taking a backseat. I can be a sarcastic, pessimistic, undisciplined, glass-half-empty, stubborn type of person. My epitaph would probably read “Consistent in her inconsistencies”.

So I can’t really complain when my seven-year-old throws her wet towel on the floor or grumble when I have to unravel underwear from her inside out pants while sorting laundry. I can’t call her a slob because I would essentially be calling myself one, seeing I can’t adhere to my own rules.

I’m constantly nagging my kids to drink more water but I happily drink coffee and tea instead. Talk about being a hypocrite!

How can I scold my daughter for being a hoarder, tucking away her possessions and never being able to find anything when she is a by-product of my habits? My father in-law just the other day asked where the old relic of a juicing machine he gave me was, and seriously, it could have been misplaced in the linen closet for all I knew!

And when my toddler started to point his tiny finger at me and say, “I want you to do it right this minute young lady!”, who do I have to blame for that?

Like most parents, I make sure my children feel loved and supported, are well-fed, dressed in clean clothes, help with school readers, try to volunteer where I can, take them to social events and extra-curricula activities.

I know that I’m not a terrible mother, but I struggle to focus and I find it exhausting being mindful as a parent. Despite it all, I continue to try.

This week when I found myself with homework that tested my patience and ability, I was quick to chuck a self-pity party and throw in the towel. I had spat the dummy and thrown an embarrassing toddler tantrum. My daughter started homework that same week and when prompted, her responses fell between “I don’t want to do it” and “it’s too hard”. Coincidence much?

I had to dig deep and do some self-reflection. What was I teaching my kids? What effects were my actions having on them? Am I being the role model that I want to be? How am I shaping my children for the future?

If I want my daughter to face challenges with aplomb, to learn from mistakes and not be afraid of trying, to be resilient and persevere, I had to pull my finger out and set the example.

So I sat down, batted away the self-doubt and attempted to do my homework. I tried and failed multiple times. I practiced and practiced until I produced a piece that I felt content with. I had done my homework to the best of my ability. I gave it a go.

Not surprisingly, my daughter also decided to give her homework a go.

The results got me thinking… maybe I’ll become a vegetarian. Do you reckon my children will want to eat their veggies then?

Copyright © 2019, KN J Tales and Snippets. All rights reserved.

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HALF-PRICED DISCOUNT…STILL NOT ENOUGH

“Make time for yourself.”
“It’s not about having time. It’s about making time.”
“Have a break. Have a Kit Kat.”

Life is just damn hectic. It’s go-go go from the moment I wake up and doesn’t end until I’m passed out in bed. I’m like a lab rat running on a wheel, only I’m not having fun and I can’t get off. Every so often I need a time-out; sit on the bench; press the pause button on life; give myself some self-love (*snigger* actual term).

Everyone has different ideas when it comes to self-love. Some people go away on retreats; some do treks to reconnect with nature (*shudder*); some simply just need a night without the kids.

My choice of self-love comes in the form of discounts, coupons and bargains. So when a business card for fifty percent off hair colouring and cut was thrust into my palm, I decided I was well overdue for some me-time.

I lean back on the comfy chair and close my eyes. The warm water washes over my poorly maintained hair and the caressing hands of Salon Lady massages my scalp. It feels divine.

“Mummy.”

I ignore the voice. The smell of sweetly scented shampoo wafts towards my nose as it’s being lathered on my hair.

“Mummy! I’m bored.”

I can’t remember the last time I got a head massage. It feels great. I could almost fall asleep. Almost.

“Mum! Are you even listening to me?”

I open my eyes and peer over to my six-year-old fickle pickle.

“Darling, I told you that I would be here for a few hours,” I tell Mandy. “You insisted on coming with me.”

Mandy gives me The Look. A perfect combination of apathy and boredom you would expect from an adolescent.

“Why don’t you get some crayons and paper from the massive bag you made me carry and create something,” I say as I close my eyes. I’m desperately trying to emulate feelings of being pampered and relaxed. You know, the ones you’re supposed to have while getting hair treatment at an expensive boutique salon.

Salon Lady goes to get the heating towel.

“Mummy, you should see how much of your hair is in the sink!” Mandy exclaims, peeking into the basin.

“What?” I ask. There isn’t any point pretending to relax anymore.

“So so much hair. Mummy, that colour doesn’t suit you,” Mandy remarks, as if she’s a hair colouring expert.

“It’s my natural hair colour,” I reply dryly.

Salon Lady puts the towel on my conditioned hair and tells me to chill out. How on earth am I meant to ‘chill out’ with a Debbie Downer in my ear?

After what seemed like an age of listening to Mandy whine and getting a crook neck from being forgotten by Salon Lady, I shuffle over to the chair to have my hair cut. I see Mandy spinning in circles on a salon stool.

“Mandy! Stop that!” I yell out. “Jeez Louise.”

I continue chatting to Salon Lady about the real estate market. From the corner of my eye, I can see Mandy draped over two seats and doing horizontal leg presses.

“Mandy! Seriously!” I yell again. At the rate I’m jerking about, I’ll become a trendsetter in sporting lopsided haircuts.

As Salon Lady prepares to blow dry my hair, Mandy jumps up and down in front of me.

“Mum, I need to go,” Mandy mutters. “Like now.”

The salon doesn’t have a toilet.

Self-love total bill = 50% discount + 10% whining surcharge + 10% negative commentary tax + 100% quick exit fee

Doesn’t seem like much of a win, does it?

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