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Reframe It

Jane Tyson
A spilled bowl of cereal

Something happened and your child is right there beside you, It might be a spill, an unexpected phone call, or even some bad news. You are going to react, but before you do think about what you want your child to learn.

Quite a number of years ago, I was carrying a plastic dish tub of left over cereal and milk to the kitchen sink and garbage disposal. I was accompanied by a girl named Bailey.. We were talking and walking down the hallway. As we turned into the kitchen, I somehow managed to trip on something and the dish tub went flying out of my hands and almost immediately I had cereal and milk dripping from cabinets, and pooling on the floor and tables. Bailey just stood there waiting for me to react. I don't know what she expected but I pulled myself together in the face of this big mess I now needed to clean up and said "oops!" I will never forget how Bailey laughed and then I laughed and suddenly the mess didn't seem so big. 

Our children look to us and learn how we handle things. We may not think are paying attention, but they are. When we get cut off in traffic, take a minute to say "Wow, that guy was sure in a hurry. Hope he gets home safely." Or when we are stuck in a slow moving line at the check out register, take a moment to talk with your child about what will happen we you get home or what's for dinner. 

Your mother might have encouraged you to think positive. Model that for your chidren. When you model and teach him the skill of reframing you are essentially giving him a new way to look at and cope with the little messes of life. Nothing is so bad it can't be handled by a smile, a laugh, or a prayer.