Recently, we have been working with my daughter on trying to get her to stop sucking her thumb. She is using a thumb guard that is really helping, but like any bad habit, it has been hard for her.
The other day I told Robynn that my worst habit is eating late at night. It is like clockwork; as soon as I put the kids to bed I’m off to the kitchen searching for a sweet treat. Whether it was college or even my childhood, eating a dessert to end the day was very much the norm!
Then it dawned on me. Why do I expect Leanne to break a habit that she has had her entire life, yet I make an excuse for not breaking mine? Is it because hers is only 5 years of a bad habit and mine is 30? I guess the number of years shouldn’t matter, since for each of us it equates to be our ENTIRE lives!
I talked to Leanne and told her I was going to work on breaking my bad habit too. It has been challenging for both of us, but I know that we will benefit from it. Putting myself in her shoes also makes me more sympathetic towards what she is going through. Before, I would always get frustrated and lose patience when she wasn’t making progress. It wasn’t until I tried to stop my habit that I did a better job working with her. Not to mention, seeing her work hard helps me work even harder when I have moments of weakness!
Is there something you expect of others yet you don’t expect of yourself? Nothing probably comes to mind right away but some time and self-reflection may shed some light on bad habits we can improve in our own lives. Oh….it can be so humbling…but a good reminder to have the same expectations for yourself as you do for others!!
This week my son and I started planting our seeds indoors so that when the weather warms up they will be strong enough to be transplanted outside. Once we had picked out our seeds we planted them in self-watering containers that we learned how to make on Pinterest. With the internet and Pinterest available for gardening tips and ideas it is easy to get started even if you have never grown a single thing before. For some reason as my son and I were working on our self watering containers, I had a flashback to my first year of teaching and a window box planter I painted with my class and attempted to grow flowers in. That was almost 15 years ago and I didn’t have “how to” information right at my fingertips. I didn’t even have a computer with the internet in my classroom at that time. I bought dirt, about 5 different kinds of seeds, and we started planting. I planted all of the seeds together in the windowbox one on top of the other and to my naivety thought they were going to grow into a beautiful garden for my class to enjoy. I didn’t check plant size, seed spacing, and I certainly didn’t know anything about starting seeds in starter pots and then transplanting them once they had matured.
One afternoon after the kids had been dismissed for the day I was watering the windowbox and a veteran teacher (and avid gardener) came in to see what I was doing. I showed her all of the seed packets and told her that I was planting a windowbox garden with the kids. I remember like it was yesterday her smile and words, “I’m sure it will be beautiful.” That was all she said and walked out of my classroom. Looking back, I realize she knew my garden was going to be a disaster and didn’t say anything to me about how to ReAlLy grow a garden. She had a wealth of knowledge and years of experience and made a conscious decision to leave me in the dark and LeT Me FaiL. It wouldn’t bother me so much if it was just me who was going to be disappointed, but I had 18 first graders who though they were growing a beautiful garden. I will never know why she didn’t offer to help, or why she even bothered coming into my classroom to see what I was doing in the first place. What I DO know is this…I will NEVER knowingly set someone up to fail.
This is a lesson I will pass on to my children in hopes that the little voice inside their head will say, “Do the right thing” when faced with an opportunity to help a friend or even a stranger. Life is hard enough when you know what you’re doing…having a little help when trying something new can only raise your chances at success.
“In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.” Theodore Roosevelt
~Robyn (Jersey Girl)