“In the midst of great joy, do not promise anyone anything. In the midst of great anger, do not answer anyone’s letter.” (Chinese Proverb)
All humans have a wide range of emotions. As parents we can experience all of these emotions in just a day, or even just an hour or sometimes in just a minute. I once walked in the bathroom to see my 2 1/2 year old standing on the toilet tank. My emotions went from sheer terror to amazing relief and joy all in the span of less than a minute!
What our quote is suggesting today is that we don’t make any great decisions in the heat of the moment – whether that moment is amazingly joyful or incredibly filled with anger. To make decisions that are sound the best place to be is in a state of calmness. When we make our decisions when we are calm, we are including our brain and not just making decisions with our hearts or our ego.
This is where the use of The Pause comes in. When you find yourself with strong emotions it is best to pause for a minute or two before you make any decisions. When your child has done something amazingly awesome – Pause before you reward them. When your child has done something that was not acceptable – Pause before you decide on the consequences. Feel the emotions, let them wash over you and use the Pause to let your brain catch up.
So… You will sometimes find your emotions exploding with anger and sometimes with joy. Just wait until the dust settles before you promise anything to anyone.
Have some fun today!