I try. But, it's really hard.
I try to be proactive rather than reactive.
But, you know what. I get really tired of being proactive all.day.long. It's hard work anticipating a problem before it occurs and then calmly defusing it with grace.
I constantly remind that it is hard work being 3-years-old. And, trust me. Henry works very heard at being 3.
Speaking of 3-year-olds, I was painting a picture of Henry today. Which is a total joke if you know anything about my artistic ability. So. I thought I would make it a learning experience by having him tell me which body parts to paint. He said he only needed a penis and a hiney. Seriously.
Back to my topic.
And, it takes practice. It does not come naturally to me. It's not that I want to make threats so my child will act right. It's just that I think he should listen to me and do what I say. But, alas, he is 3 (hence his body part preference) and he is exerting his own will and he will be damned if he does what I tell him to do all day long.
So. At the end of the day, I remind myself. I tell myself that the big goal is to teach our children to do right because they want to do the right thing. Not because they are worried about punishment. Not because Mama told them to do right.
I want them to internalize respect for themselves and empathy for others.
But, it's hard for me. And, it's hard for my 3-year-old.
And, understanding empathy is probably even more difficult for that little 3-year-old after watching a 10 minute blooper video of people getting hurt doing ridiculous things and hearing his parents cackling in laughter every time somebody got hurt.
What can I say?
Life is hard.