When learning a new skill such as painting, tennis, piano, etc., practicing is essential to mastery.
Today, when you're in a good mood, you can play the following "mind game" to practice the inner skill of creating peace:
- Imagine your child doing something that would normally upset you.
- Notice how you perceive the behavior to be wrong, unacceptable, annoying, embarrassing, offensive, or hurtful.
- Now pretend it's your first day on Earth and you don't "know" that the behavior is "wrong" and that you're supposed to be upset.
- Deliberately choose the latter, more peaceful perspective and gently release the stressful one. Tell yourself, "I'm free to choose inner peace. (Or not.) It's my choice!"
Play this game several times, starting with minor annoyances and working up to major "button-pushing" behaviors. You can even make it fun by thinking of ridiculously outrageous behaviors and still choosing peace!
With practice, you'll find it easier to stay centered and peaceful when your child actually "misbehaves," and to respond to your child with compassion and creativity.
See also: Acceptance vs. Tolerance