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The problem with ‘should’

 

This word “should” has dominated my mind today and as a result it’s not been the best day. Being at home with my two boys (3 and 1years old) is never easy but with the right mindset, it’s exhausting but generally I feel I’ve done ok. And then there’s those days like today.

As I sit and reflect, as I always seem to after a tricky day. I do think reflecting on a good day would be more worthwhile however, certainly better for the self esteem and may ingrain more positive pathways. Anyway, the mind likes the negative so tends to dwell there.

Today I’m tired, my reserves are low and I’ve been dealing with a bit of sick and things.
My attempts at connected parenting and respectful communication went out the window by 08.15. I tried so much to bring it back to each moment, but no sooner had I made a pledge with myself that this moment would be better, off I go again.

The culprit? “Should”.
He should be able to play on his own more
He should be kinder to his brother
He should be able to draw better
He should share his toys
He should say thank you
He shouldn’t be so rude to me
He should say ‘hello’ to that nice lady….

With this in our minds, we are projecting judgement.

We do it to ourselves all the time…
I should lose weight
I shouldn’t have a glass of wine tonight
I should have spoken my mind earlier
I should go and see Aunt Mabel
…I should have done better…

It doesn’t feel good does it? To me it brings about feelings of guilt, not living up to expectation and feelings of failure. It certainly doesn’t lead to change, it just makes us aware of an inadequacy.

So if I’ve projected this all day, no wonder my little boy was uncooperative, defiant and basically a bit rude. With “should” taking the front seat I guess he felt judged, inadequate, disconnected from me and so the vicious circle continued. It’s certainly not going to lead to a positive change or any kind of improvement. It’s worthless and depletes. It holds nothing but negativity and so affects our behaviour negatively and in turn, our little people’s behaviour negatively, influencing their sense of self.

The alternative? Notice what happens and the feelings you have when we allow our children (and ourselves actually) to be who they are. When we help them to succeed. When they know we’ve got their back and they are accepted just as they are. That they are enough.

But when we’re tired and our reserves are low, allow it, it’s one of those days, there will be many more (but we should say sorry 🙂 )