Me: River, are you nervous about your first day of school?
River (age 9): I’ll wait until something happens to be nervous. No sense wasting it on nothing.
A photo came up in my Facebook memories a few days ago. It’s of River starting her first day of school just after we moved, so she didn’t know anyone. I’ve long stated that my daughter is the most emotionally healthy person I’ve ever met in my life. This statement is just another profoundly logical quip from my girl. Interestingly enough, that statement played out for me today in a completely different capacity.
I’ve long stated that there is no difference between how I raise my kids and how I Pilot my dogs. Each is in a world that they aren’t quite equipped to handle on their own, and each ask a lot of questions. If you don’t answer the questions, well…
The good thing is that the more you Pilot your dogs/kids, the easier it is to Pilot them. In other words, you followed through with your answer this time, it’s more likely you’re will follow through the next time. It doesn’t matter what the question is:
River: “Mom, can I stay up all night and play video games?”
“No, and if you do, you will lose your computer for a week.”
Guess who lost their computer for a week, and guess who now knows I will follow through with that answer.
Sparta: “Mom, is that other dog going to kill us?”
“No, I will protect you and make sure you are safe.”
We don’t die on the walk, so guess who believes me next time we see another dog on a walk.
Each little question we answer for your dogs/children is worth a certain amount of money in our Piloting Piggy Bank. It starts to add up. So the next time my son asks a question worth a dime, it’s easier to answer because I’ve already got the quarter to spend from the last question he asked (and I followed through on). Now that total is $.35! Cha-ching!i
And saving money is So Very Important, because eventually, you know that rainy day is going to come, and you’re going to need it.
That day came for me today.
“Hi Ms. Stack, this is Jody from River’s school. River is having a seizure. We’ve called 911. Please come up to the school immediately.”
Yeah, not the call I was expecting this morning. So I went into my usual crisis mode. In other words, the PAW Method I constantly preach. It’s not for working with your dog: it’s for working with your life.
1) Control Yourself. I’ve had a lot of practice with this one over the years. Panicking is a luxury, and is very selfish in the end. You are either robbing energy that can be used towards resolving a situation, or you are forcing others to use theirs to calm you down. Take a deep breath, and FFS, Put on your big girl pants and deal! As I like to tell my clients, this isn’t about you, this is about the situation, and the situation ain’t luxurious, it’s crisis. Wallow in luxury later when you have time to unpack the day’s events. It’s okay to get upset… just not now. Put on your Piloting uniform. You have a job to do, so put on on lipstick, pour yourself a drink, and pull yourself together.