Ever wondered how your kids view you? Check out this mom’s simple plan to see herself through her kids’ eyes:
I was intrigued by a TED talk about the benefits of teachers videoing themselves teaching in their classrooms. They use the videos to assess what went well and what could be improved. I realized if someone could see a video of a typical challenge in our home it would tell the true story of our interactions and give helpful insight.
Since reading to our kids is very important to us and bedtime is one of those challenging times of the day I decided to use this scenario. Normally the kids compete to turn the same pages, and push each other away because they each want me to themselves. When it escalates to yelling we put an end to reading even though it’s one of their favorite activities. Naturally the rest of bedtime doesn’t go smooth either.
That night I set up my smartphone on a dresser facing my daughter and my son sitting in my lap. It video recorded us reading a story together, as I did my best to forget about it and do “business as usual”. Business as usual was not pretty.
Photo Credit: IPGGutenbergUKLtd iStockphoto.com
As I reviewed the video later, I picked up on all the non-verbal cues I was giving off that I didn’t realize were there. What I thought might be subtle, what I didn’t think my kids would pick up on, were probably the very cues they were feeding off:non- frustration, sleep deprivation, a rush to “get through it”, rolling my eyes multiple times, sighing — the list goes on.
It was a wake-up call, to say the least! After seeing myself – I wouldn’t want to respect me either. Sometimes we need to have an “out of body experience” look at ourselves to see what’s really happening. I now have a concrete image in my brain that comes up when I feel the same emotions resurface. It enables me to catch myself early and correct the old habits.
What a creative way to “see with your own eyes” the messages you’re sending your children, either purposefully or unknowingly.
Apply It Now:
- What is a setting or routine that is particularly challenging for you?
- Videotape yourself interacting with your kids.
- Watch it — what nonverbal signals are you giving? How do you think they might be affecting your kids? What messages are you sending them?