Saturday, June 19, 2010

Set the Scene

As silly as it is, whenever I find myself getting impatient and short-tempered with others, I think about a scene from the children's PBS show, Arthur. In this scene, Arthur's little sister is whining at him to please help her, and he considers the reactions he could have and the consequences of his reactions. It's this scene that speaks volumes to me about how my choices affect those around me.

As a mother, I am increasingly aware of the fact that I have the power to set the entire tone of the household. If I snap at D when he gets home, it is likely to change his attitude for the rest of the evening. If I have dinner ready at the same time every day, D and N both react well to the consistency. If I clean, D and N tend to keep in motion. If I show patience, I find that patience is shown to me.

So I try to keep flowers in the house, the floors picked up, and dinner ready on time. I'm not always great about it, especially when our lives are off-kilter for some reason, but I try. And I see the rewards when I do succeed.

How do you work to set the tone in your household? What are some of the nice touches you find helpful? Or, conversely, what do you find sets your family off?

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