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Brave: 50 Everyday Acts of Courage to Thrive in Work, Love and Life by Margie Warrell

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—Chapter 21—

I 've had many humbling parenting moments in my life. One of the ones etched deepest in my memory was the time I lost my temper with my daughter Maddy, who was four at the time. We were in a crowded Dallas shopping mall on a cold January day and Maddy had been at me (and at me and at me) to take her to the Disney store. I'd said no again (and again and again). I had my two sons in tow who were both hungry and we needed to eat, not browse Snow White dresses. On top of that, I was seven months pregnant with number four, weary and still jetlagged from a long flight back from Australia just days before. The last thing I felt like doing was going to the Disney store. But Maddy was four, she loooooved princesses, adored Snow White and couldn't … ah, make that wouldn't ! … take no for an answer.

As we made our way to a table in the middle of a busy food court, I finally cracked. I turned to my curly-haired little girl and, in a voice far louder than I'd planned, shouted ‘Can. You. Just. SHUT. UP!' At which point, Maddy promptly burst into tears. My never-loses-his-cool husband Andrew looked over at me and gave me a look as if to say, ‘If we were at home right now I'd be putting you in time out'. I felt ashamed. I felt embarrassed. I'd clearly lost my temper at my beautiful daughter and done the very thing I admonish my kids for — being unkind. Not only that, but every ...

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