My four year old daughter knows and uses the word 'annoying' in it's proper context. I suppose there are worse words she could have in her vocabulary, but it made me feel bad when I heard my words echoed from her mouth. Today when Isaac was crying (as he has been doing pretty much non stop for the past 3 days) she said, "Isaac you are getting really annoying," And this makes me a bit sad because it means that I must be using it around her. It's not that I think the word is bad or inappropriate but it just seems to have some negativity attached to it that I do not want my kiddos to feel. I know that I use that word when I am feeling stressed, cranky and nearing the point of my patience giving in...in fact, I am pretty sure I said something very similar about Isaac, around Maddie, the other day. If I remember correctly it was something like, "Oh baby, what is wrong!? I'm starting to feel very annoyed!" Yes, I was feeling annoyed. And actually what I really felt like saying was, "Baby, you are driving me crazy! What the heck is wrong!?!?! I can't take another minute of this constant crying!" But, nevertheless, I think I should have chosen a more positive, less critical way of expressing my annoyance and frustration. Perhaps something like, "Oh baby, what is wrong!? I really wish I knew how to help you!" Not only would this send a more positive feeling to the kiddos, but it would help me calm down too.
When issues like this come up, I always wonder how my kiddos view me, perceive me. I find seeing things through their eyes is a good way to make modifications to my behaviours, actions and the words I use, because sometimes in times of stress what I see doesn't feel or seem like something I would want to see as a child. When Maddie was our only child, things were easier, in the sense that I was not as stressed, cranky, tired, etc. So my demeanour was more relaxed and patient. Now, with the addition of our little hooligan Isaac, I am finding myself constantly biting my tongue and relying on relaxation techniques to bring peace and resolution to a stressful moment. That little monkey really has a way of making me reach my breaking point! I think he is just as, or perhaps more, emotional than me. But I take comfort in the fact that at least I am aware and conscious of what I want to be like as a mother and as a role model for my children. I am finding that putting this into practice is a constant give and take, forgive and forget, go with the flow kind of ordeal that I am sure will keep evolving and I hope I can keep up!