Are you a parent who is constantly frustrated, raising your voice, and nagging at your kids? It’s easy to get in the habit of doing. It’s harder to fix it. It takes time and commitment. It’s summertime and kids have been home for a long time due to covid-19. How do parents find balance having kids home all the time? Let me teach you one key strategy that has made all the difference in the peace of my household.
Give Yourself Some Grace
It’s always more challenging when kids are home weather it’s summer or holiday breaks. For parents we have to give ourselves a bit more grace. We may lose it more or feel frustration. But there are some concrete strategies you can use that can make things run more smoothly and the routine to stay in check. I promise…having your kids on a regular routine, will help you to enjoy your kids a lot more. Family life will run a lot more smoothly.
Most of us want to be a great mom. But it’s easy to get into the cycle of nagging and reminding over and over, then we just blow up. You feel so defeated, frustrated, and even resentful. This isn’t your best self. It’s time to learn new parenting strategies that might be life changing for you. Once you know tools and strategies, You can turn behavior around quickly.
There Is A Parenting Manual
You’ve heard the saying “parenting doesn’t come with a manual.” But having systems in place is a manual. If you have the strategies and methods, it makes your life so much easier. When you have expectations for everyone, things just run smoother. But the taskmaster nature tends to invite power struggles for our kids. We have to intentionally create emotional connections to our kids to fill their attention buckets. Connecting is a must. Without this, it will feel like more effort with the power struggles and whining.
1:1 Time Together Is A Must
Kids have these hardwired needs for emotional connection or attention. Your kids won’t come to you and tell you this either. The need that they have turns into attention seeking behaviors that can look like anything from whining to clinging or irritability. If we’re not meeting their needs, they’re going to continue to resist. Spend 1:1 time with your kids on a daily basis. It can be as short as 10 minutes. I like to give 20 if I can. Get into their world. Jumping on tramp, legos, reading books together etc. Parent’s are blown away by how cooperative kids become when they meet this need for their children. Other things become easier when we meet their hard wired needs first. Quality focused time goes really far. I once called up my mother in law after I was having a rough time with my son for several days in a row. She told me to spend just 20 minutes a day with him going into his world. Playing cars, pokémon, or whatever it was he was into. I did it consistently, and it made all the difference in his behavior.
Compliant kids are just a connection away, but just in case it doesn’t work, do this…
Are kids more compliant and willing to get the things done we need them to get done when we’ve put in the time? Just by filling their attention bucket can work like magic in the cooperation department. But you’ll need some backup strategies in case things don’t go the way you’d hoped. In this case, use the “When, Then” strategy. It requires that the yucky stuff gets done first. “When you’ve cleaned your bedroom and made your bed, then we can go outside and kick the soccer ball with me.” Normally occurring privileges happen (time with friends or special time with mom and dad, or electronic time).
This works great for breakfast routines – “When your hair is combed, teeth are brushed, you’re dressed with your back pack ready to go, then you can come get some yummy breakfast and we can spend some special time together.” Evenings: “When you’ve had your bath, teeth are brushed and flossed and clothes picked out for the evening, then we can have a special story time together.” When kids come ask if they can do something, you can turn it back on them “Did you complete your homework and pick up your bedroom? When that’s done, you can go outside and play with your friends.”
I have a chart for each child that show’s the chores or items I’d like them to accomplish each day. They can have their free time once these things are done first. Each picture represents something I want them to do. Once they’ve accomplished it, they can have 5 minutes of free time doing whatever they’d like (within reason).
Handling Older Kids
What if you get older kids who don’t want to do the 1:1 time with parents? How do you connect with them? For younger kids, you’d label it for example – Jojo and mommy time. But with older kids, you don’t make a big deal about it beforehand, but you slide your way into whatever their doing and then end your time by saying “I love spending this time with you.” Use opportunities to do what they like to do. Read together, play a board game together. Connect with them in some way. Older kids actually like this once you get into a good routine.
What About Toddlers
What about tantrum and meltdown phases? When you’re spending that quality time to fill their attention bucket, the frequency and intensity of the tantrums are shown to decrease. When the tantrum happens, recognize the child is having a difficult time. They can’t communicate well yet. Connect. Be there, get down on their level. Show empathy. Work on calming strategies and breathing techniques. We can teach these things at a young age. It takes a while but we can start that process right there.
If it happens in a grocery store over something they want, don’t give in, but rather let them have their fit and gently lead them out of the store. Ideas will continue to come to you as you remain calm and collected as to how to handle your child in these situations. You might remember to bring a special snack that only they can have when shopping, or their favorite toy. Or you might just learn to be okay with other people’s reactions as your child is throwing a fit in public. Not making it mean anything about your parenting, because it doesn’t. The bottom line, if you want tantrums to lessen, work on connecting with your child each and every day.
Are you a parent who could use some coaching around nagging, yelling or raising your voice to your kids? Come jump on a coaching call. One call will have you motivated and inspired to do things differently so you can yield better results. I’ll include a link in the show notes where you can schedule your 1:1 session with me today. I look forward to helping you through any problem in your life.
P.S. Right now I am creating a 30 day family success system that will create healthy, hard working, obedient kids in just 30 short days! Are you interested? If so, get on the waiting list and I’ll let you know as soon as this program launches. CLICK HERE for details.