Friday, October 9, 2015
Thankfully I could stop and the incident ended with nothing more than a bit of apologetic hand waving. But I couldn't help thinking how unhelpful our instincts can be at times of stress. The other driver's split second decision in that moment of crisis was probably the opposite of what it should have been. If she had put her foot down and completed her turn, she would probably have been well out of my way. As it was, screeching to a halt right in front of me placed her right in harm's way. I'm not criticising her. I would probably have done the same. Sometimes our instincts betray us!
It is easy, and probably a bit cheesy, to draw comparisons between our near miss and our lives here as parent and children. But I'm going to do it anyway.
My children are young, and in their heads and their emotions, they're probably even younger. In times of stress - which is a lot of the time! - their instincts often drive them towards making decisions and displaying behaviours that are likely to get them into more hot water rather than less. As their parent, albeit temporarily in some cases, I have to train myself to remember this; to recognise stress-causing situations and minimise them so that opportunities to fail aren't so frequent; to show them what self-control feels and looks like; to lead the way through some alternative routes.
It's a long haul, and I'm not sure how far we'll get. I know full well that when skidding on ice, one should avoid the brakes and instead turn the wheels in the direction of the skid. I know that. And yet when it happens, I can barely keep my foot way from the brake! I hope I can be more forgiving of my children when they succumb to their instincts than the icy road is.