Thursday, January 30, 2014

Keep Calm and Carry On: How I'm Trying (and Failing) to Teach My Kids Patience

I used to be a pretty laid-back individual. I think it’s time for me to admit that I’m no longer the easy-going, patient person I once was. I can’t pinpoint the exact moment I abandoned my que sera sera attitude and replaced it with one of perpetual annoyance, but it has definitely happened. I want to be an eternally happy person. I strive toward that goal. I want to be the kind of person who brings a smile to the face of everyone I encounter. I fall short of that goal. Daily.

The other day, I took my kids to a theme park. Somehow these happy places tend to bring out the absolute worst in me. I’m embarrassed to admit that I don’t always act like a nice person at theme parks, and the last time we went I noticed my kids taking my cue and getting frustrated over things that never used to bother them. I don’t want them picking up bad behavior from anywhere, least of all from me! This time, as I drove toward the entrance so I could pay for parking, I vowed, “I’m going to be really good today. I’ll keep a smile on my face, I’ll be happy, and I won’t say that I hate people even once. I won’t even get mad when self-absorbed tourists randomly stop in the middle of a walkway like they’re the only people on the planet because they’re inconsiderate jerks who shouldn’t be allowed out in public!”

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