Kevin Bell

We Fall To The Level Of Our Training. So Do Our Kids

It was one of those days as a parent. If it could go wrong, it went wrong. Not that any of these these are “wrong”, but to say that it tests your patience is an understatement.

A little background to set the scene:

The morning started off with a wet bed from my oldest. Which isn’t a bother to me, I just have to do the laundry. Not a problem at all, but it snowballs for her. This leads to tears meltdowns the rest of the morning.

My youngest didn’t start the day off any better. She got up not feeling that well with a temp.

Fast forward through the morning and we’ve had a school call us about an ear infection for one and a diaper rash for the other. Both girls home and dad has gotten ZERO work done. But let’s be honest, I’d rather snuggle with them than do anything else.

One urgent care visit later, we were about to go down for naps. First child down and sound asleep, time for #2. Mom had to leave for a bit and this mommas girl was not happy.

I pick her up to carry her upstairs. She’s screaming and crying, wanting mom to come back. This was also her just being exhausted and feeling under the weather. I had barely taken a couple steps up the stairs and without skipping a beat, in the middle of her breakdown, she reminds me to take her shoes off before we go upstairs. The quote was “take my shoes off please, daddy.”

I couldn’t help but start laughing. I also couldn’t believe what I had just heard.

We’re a “no shoes in the house”, household. As soon as the girls come inside we remind them to take their shoes off by the shoe rack and DEFINITELY no shoes on the stairs or upstairs since it’s carpet. We say this a couple times a day at least, but honestly, they pretty much both know now.

My youngest, the one who reminded me, is only 2.5… and in her total breakdown moment, she had the clarity to ask me to take her shoes off.

And it was at that moment I was reminded that as frustrating as it might be sometimes with all that we try and teach our kids, the message DOES get through.

There’s a phrase we say in law enforcement that goes “in times of stress, we don’t rise to the level of our expectations, we fall to the level of our training”. The example of that is if we all of a sudden find ourselves in a fight for our lives, if we haven’t gotten uncomfortable in our regular weekly training, we aren’t going to perform as well as we should.

We want our reactions to be second nature. To fall right into what we need to do to defend ourselves. If we think about it too much, it might be too late.

This exact scenario (on another level of course) is what happened with my daughter. It was engrained in her to take off her shoes. When we started up the stairs, it was just a reaction for take her shoes off. It came out mid cry.

Building the good habits and level of training you want to have is simple. Just do those things over and over and over and over again. They’ll become second nature.

Be careful though, the same is true about the bad habits.

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