I certainly did not learn to keep my cool from my childhood. Life with my dad was stressful and scary. My mom was not a yeller, but Dad was very intimidating to my two sisters and me. I jokingly say I thought my name was Stupid, Ugly, Dummy, etc. God Bless him...loved him anyway.
I thought about the way I was raised. I decided early on I would never do that to any child, mine or not. Yes, sometimes I wanted to yell at my two girls, but I stopped myself by remembering what I went through and how it made me feel. The other big deterrent was to ask myself; if either of them, God forbid, was ill or dead, I would not have this experience of helping them clean up spilled milk or watch them show me how they can really clean their rooms. I would rather have my girls around to "mess up" every so often, than have given birth and now one or both are gone forever.
Instead, I put a smile on my face and they immediately know that uncalled-for smile means business. Problem solved! By the way, I am mentally counting to 10 at the same time. This works with my wonderful husband, as well. I would rather see clothes all over the floor then some horrible thing happen in my marriage or to him.
Thankful for being a good student of life.