No, I’m not talking about the King of Pop, although I have to publicly thank Mike Shimmin (a good friend, and heckuva drummer/hand percussionist) for making me watch the MJ documentary, “This Is It.” From a musician’s standpoint, it’s an incredibly interesting look into how MJ ran his rehearsals, interspersed with comments from the dancers and band.
What I am talking about is self-reflection. Now that I’m less than three months from having my daughter in the office (um…nursery) depending on me, I’m taking a look at my attitude and demeanor. Far too many times, you see kids behaving in less than desirable ways and when you see the parents, it’s apparent where they got it. As much as you want to punish the child, it’s ultimately the parents where the buck stops. And in a couple of months, it’s going to stop here.
If you don’t like it where you are, change it. You are not a tree.
So, I’ve been looking at myself; how I deal with things, how I deal with people, etc.. And, it’s been tough. I’m not saying that I’m looking at myself and saying “You’re just a small mustache away from being Hitler!” However, it has had me stop and say “If I feel/act this way towards _______, will my daughter catch onto that? And when she does, will that be fair to her?”
Because whether we want them to or not, kids will imitate their parents behavior. My dad tells a story about how one day while he was driving (and I was in the backseat) a car cut him off. And my dad gave him a piece of his mind. Later on, another car passed him at which point I decided that I’d give this whole “road rage” thing a try, because dad seemed to be really good at it. This story still makes my dad laugh, and my mom roll her eyes.
Ben Harrison: Mommy…
Jackie Harrison: What, sweetie?
Ben Harrison: If you want me to hate her I will.
Stepmom, 1998 Columbia Pictures
It’s easy for me to try and think of all of these things that as a (future) parent, I should and shouldn’t do. Talking about being a parent and actually being a parent are two different things, and while I can say “I’m going to do this and this,” I know that as soon as she’s here, everything will be thrown out the window. On a daily basis, maybe even hourly.
At some point, I’ll likely be so exhausted that I’ll be taking advice from the cat.
I can’t control everything that my daughter will or will not do; I get that. However, I can attempt to not let my opinions towards things or people cloud or influence her judgment. I owe her that much, and hey, accepting things for how they are is good for me too.