Better things to do…I was recently next to a parent when I heard them tell their child “I’ve got better things to do than to help you with your homework all day.” The parent and child were at an indoor sporting facility attempting to work through homework while they waited for a sibling to finish their practice. Guess what the better thing to do was…Yep! Checking their facebook account. This parent voiced what many of us are showing with our responses to our children. What are your responses telling your child? There is no doubt about it… life with kids in tow is busy. Sports, work commitments, schoolwork, home projects and keeping up with our social lives all add to the hectic pace.
The bad news is… many times children play second fiddle to these other commitments and parents lash out saying… hurry up, get going, I have got better things to do as they rush their children from place to place.
The good news is children are resilient and need only the smallest portion of your time… 15 minutes playing catch in the backyard, 10 minutes reading their favorite book, 5 minutes connecting with them about their day, 1 minute consoling them when they are sick, 1 second to pat them on the back.
When looking at your to do list, could you add in small moments like this to your hectic day? Or do you have “better things to do?”
Don’t try to respond to every issue your child presents at once. Choose the issue that is driving you crazy or affecting your child’s life the most, and focus on it first.
Take one issue at a time-observe and reflect on it, devise a plan or response around that issue, make your plan consistent in all areas and with all people in your child’s life, and then stick with it . You will see results and possibly the positive results will spill into other areas of their life. Once you’ve mastered this baby step you can choose the next thing on your list of issues and start working on it. Many times once we conquer one of the major issues the minor issues might fall into line. Remember better parenting is a work in progress…
Take it in Baby Steps!
The following phrases are normal responses from your toddler, preschooler or maybe even your grade school child.
“I want to be the boss!”
“I want the best toy!”
“I don’t like to share!”
“I get the biggest cookie!”
The following was a favorite rhyme around our house when our two oldest children were still into reading board books. It’s gone by now, and we are onto Harry Potter and Diary of a Wimpy Kid, but the rhyme rings true to me as I think about the rhythm of life with kids in tow.
Train chugs… clickety clack ,
Engine upfront… caboose in back
Passing cows… Moooo
Over the river… Whooo Whooo
Do you every have parenting moments when you feel like you made a split decision and for whatever reason it worked. You walk away dumbfounded…You didn’t plan ahead, you didn’t think it all through, you simply went on your instinct and it worked! “That was Easy,” you say, and you think to yourself, “Hmm? Why did that work?” Read more
I could never figure out why educators always referred to the three r’s (reading writing and arithmetic) knowing full well that only one of those words starts with an “r.” Why would they use this to help them remember the major components of their field of work knowing full well they might just confuse the children they were working with and create more spelling headaches for everyone? Read more