cookieChoices = {};

Saturday 14 November 2020

Hurry up… We are going to be late… We don’t have time for that now…

How has your week been, I wonder? It is mid-November and it seems that everywhere we turn there are increasing demands and everyone has less time. It is an end of year pattern amongst adults that ripple into our relationships with our children, causing them to act out with emotional outbursts that are easily mistaken for naughtiness.

Yes, we as adults are very busy and face many demands on our time. As a result we rush around, lose our cool and speak unkindly to others and our children. We impatiently dismiss them and their needs, failing to notice their little hopeful eyes that are watching us and not acknowledging their soul’s yearning to be noticed. We are missing from our children.

If you think back over just this past week – did you notice any of these ques? Did your child seem to be overly emotional, whining, and aggressive or suddenly say that they don’t want to go to school? How did you respond to these ques? Did you recognize it as a plea for a little bit of your time to connect or did you reach for a disciplinarian response instead?

It is possible, within our very busy lives, to ensure that our children feel loved.

·         Put your oxygen mask on first

     As cliché as it sounds, we cannot serve others from an empty cup. By managing ourselves better, we will naturally be able to better deal with life and the many demands on our time. Eat healthy, drink enough water and regularly do something that you enjoy like walking or cooking. Make time to laugh, pray and/or meditate. Do your best to focus only on what you can control and let go of the rest. By prioritizing our physical and mental health and involving our children in these activities, we are setting a great example for them and laying the foundation for healthy habits that they can take with them into their adult life. 

·         Be boring
A predictable daily routine, with firm consistent boundaries helps our children feel safe. When children know and can predict what is expected of them, they tend to be much calmer. 

·         Connection. Connection. Connection. Connection.
I can never emphasize this enough. Our children need to feel connected to us. This can be accomplished by doing several little things together during the day e.g. reading a story, going for a walk, cooking or baking together, cuddling, watching a movie together, gardening, bath time, shopping or dancing. One of our boys’ favorite things are to look at their baby photos, while discussing their ‘babyhood’ - it immediately makes them feel special and connected to us.

·         Don’t fight fire with fire
Children are emotional beings, so they will react emotionally. As adults, we need to remember not to react to their emotional moments with our own emotional outbursts, as this will only escalate the situation into an emotional explosion. Rather pick them up, hold them tight and do your best to be calm. The calmer you stay, the calmer they will become. They need to feel your love and once everyone is calm, you can meet them at their level of understanding. Sometimes you will have to say: ‘Let’s try again’, and go back to the beginning of what caused that explosion, to handle it in a different manner. When we teach our children that we can try again, we teach them that everyone makes mistakes and help them learn about forgiveness and second chances. These life skills, practiced often, will help your child to become a kind adult human being.

·         Mind your language

As adults we need to carefully choose our words. We tend to say ‘no’ or ‘don’t touch’ often, when a ‘yes’ can be much more effective way to divert their attention. For example, instead of saying: “Don’t touch the bird ornament”, we can say: “Come let’s look at the birds outside”. For every negative word we use, we should try to share at least four positive words. We can be firm in our speaking, but we don’t need to be harsh or unkind.

Our children are only small for a short time and whether we like it or not, they will follow our example and not our wishes. We need to do our best to make the little time we have with them count.

No comments:

Post a Comment


    As parents, it is always important to remember that when it comes to our children, that we NEED to be on the same team, and that we ...