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Parent Life: Practice Vs. Theory

So I have a question, what happens when you as the parent have to put your own theory into practice. Ok y'all I just jumped right in with no context, so let me fill you in. The past few weeks my sister and I have been talking about the way in which our Mom navigated space with us. This could be from the way she reacted when we did something wrong, to her response to us asking for something from her. Now we both had our own theory of how we would navigate the same situations. And you know where I'm headed already, I had to put my perceived theory into play.

The other day I was at the house, and my daughter and I were watching a movie on Netflix. The movie was Look Both Ways (not an ad lol), which happened to be about a young woman's decision that could have went either way. I had a glass of La Marca (also not an ad lol) sitting to the left of me, while I was watching the movie. Well at some point during the movie I got up and went to the bathroom, and my daughter went into the room with her Dad and was showing him some dance moves. Well she kept on dancing into the living room, and the next thing I heard was a shattering of glass. My glass to be precise, and in that moment I had to test my theory.

I immediately wanted to yell her name, and reprimand her for not paying attention. Now this was my innate instinct, and I knew exactly why I felt that way. When we were younger my Mom had a formal living room, and in it she had a variety of crystal possessions, that she inherited from her late mother and some she had acquired over time. And yes you guessed it we, broke a thing or two (definitely more than two). Now us being kids, we weren't thinking of the personal value of my Mom's things, we were just being kids in a moment. My Mom's reaction however was not one of understanding, at that time.

So here I am having my own moment, and I'm defaulting to a behavior that is similar to this experience. However not only do I have my own experience as being the child in that same situation of breaking a parents belongings, I also have more compassion for my Mom and how she was processing and responding to the behavior of her child, me! So as all of this was flashing before my eyes I took a deep breath, and walked out to help my daughter clean up the glass. She knew that I was not happy about what happened, and apologized for breaking the glass. I was understanding because I really did know how she felt. In this moment the theory showed me that yes, you can want to have a different outcome based on your past experience, and you can also simultaneously hold with you your feelings of this present moment as well as the past one. The only difference is the state that your in when you have the present experience. So just like the movie ( spoiler alert) it can go either way, you just have to choose how you practice your theory.


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