My little one is only 6 months old, but already I notice him looking at me for reassurance in a new situation. Maybe there was a loud noise or a new sound – as he decides if it warrants an outburst of tears, he’ll look to me. If I’m smiling or laughing, we often avoid those tears and we get smiles instead. Already he trusts my judgment and feels safe if mommy is not worried.
This has been tested as he’s learning to sit up on his own and reach for toys. His balance is not so good yet, so sometimes he falls flat on his face, literally. Most times I try to sit right by him and steady him as he wobbly stretches to get something of interest, but occasionally he verves off in a new direction and falls. The first time it happened, I gasped – and of course he cried. Now I bite my tongue, help him up and try to look happy.
Yet another thing I’m learning since being a parent – how to control my reactions. How often have my reactions made situations much worse than they really are? Over-reacting to things people say just makes me miserable. Emotionally responding to difficult situations does not help anything. Crying, venting or just getting angry at things we can’t control just adds stress to our lives.
So, not saying I’ve learned this, but my little boy is giving me some good practice at controlling those reactions.