I love it when comments make me think! On the post Teasing Boys, part 2, commenter Mogs said this:
True, “bad moods” may not be bad; but generally if we had a choice between the two we would choose to be in a good mood. As such suppression is not the answer; but like you said helping them develop tools to help them actively control which mood they (at least partly) choose to be in.
I have to say, this sparked quite a discussion here at Earnest Parenting. 🙂 Mogs makes an excellent point about mood suppression. For me, it’s not about suppressing a mood. My intention (long-term) is to give the boys as many tools as possible for handling whatever curves life throws. If they know themselves and what things can help lift a bad mood or improve a day, they’re that much more likely to use the strategies and feel better.
One of the things we discussed was whether or not we choose to be in a good mood on a bad day. The truth is, I don’t always choose to be nice when I’m feeling bad. It’s something I am working on personally, because of the concluding point of Luke 6:45 “Out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.” Do I expect that kind of commitment from my boys? No way, not at their ages. I hope that someday they embark on their own journey to be as Christlike as possible. But that’s ultimately up to them.
Regardless of what the future holds, my goal now is to help them see that there are things you can do to improve your own mood. The strategies don’t always work, but some relief is better than none. I also want them to grow up to understand that they’re responsible for their actions no matter what the mood.
Hubby and I also discussed why it’s easier to be in a bad mood around family. When we’re with strangers, acting nice in a bad situation is easier. Why is that? Why are we so willing to subject our loved ones to our own ugliness?
Earnest Parenting: help for parents who want good moods.