Do you ever find yourself dissatisfied with your child’s behaviour?
I don’t mean when they have a temper tantrum or something. I mean generally dissatisfied.
Like wondering why one of your kids is always the last – at everything. Always the last to get out of the car, the last to get into the car, the last to do anything.
Why one of your kids is reasonably responsive and responsible and the other one doesn’t seem to make an effort.
I’m describing the younger of my two girls here.
She’s sweet and kind and gentle and caring. But she’s also slow. She gives up too quickly and lacks perseverance.
She’s not overly confident in herself.
I know it’s not just my daughter. I see similar traits in members of other people’s families too. Maybe you have one at your place.
If they’re like this as children, how will they cope when they go out into the world?Where will they discover the inner strength we all need to get through the bumps and knocks of life?
How can we help them find their inner resilience?
And then I remembered something.Continue reading
Sibling rivalry is torture isn’t it?
If you have more than one child in your house you know the emotional exhaustion that comes with children who fight.
They can get on so beautifully sometimes, but at others, it’s like World War Three.
And worse, you’re expected to sort it out.
Which is more complicated that trying to unravel a tangled knot of toddler hair.
What usually happens is that one child ends up getting ‘in trouble’ for being the cause of the problem, while the others gloat.
The ‘winners’ bask in the glory of being in favour, and the ‘losers’ feel resentful – towards their siblings and towards you.
Plus, you feel awful about the whole thing. Never sure if you’ve got the right ‘offender’ or delivered an appropriate consequence.
So, no real winners here. Only losers all around.
It’s just horrible. You wish it would go away, but you know it won’t.
What you need is what anyone needs in a messy, awkward, thorny situation.
A simple solution. A roadmap to help you navigate the quagmire of complexity.
A series of steps that helps you work through the mess, and come out feeling squeaky clean.
Something reliable that really works.
So here it is. How to sort out sibling rivalry without going completely insane. ;-)Continue reading
Your child says they can do something themselves. Like, make their own sandwich.
So you get out all the ingredients and they start spreading.
Only, they're gouging the bread with the knife. Parts of the bread have lots of spread on it, and parts are bare.
It looks a mess.
What do you do?
Most of us will jump in and 'save' our child. We'll say something like, "Here, let me help you." And we'll spread things out evenly, or start with new bread.
Basically, we'll 'fix' their 'mistake'. But the thing is, we often don't even wait for them to finish.
We jump in before there are any tears or frustration and we correct things.
I've done it, too. But I've also allowed my kids to make messy, gouged out sandwiches and guess what?
Those are the best sandwiches they've ever eaten.
And here's the thing.
When we jump in and 'save' our kids from possible failure, we're robbing them of an experience.Continue reading
Is this familiar?
Me: “Hello? Did you hear what I said?”
H: “Yes. I heard you.”
Me: “What did I say?”
H: “Ummm. I’m not sure.” Guilty look “I wasn’t listening.”
Gahh! I go internally berserk. Do I really have to say everything twice? Or even three times?
What am I? Some sort of recorded message, saying things over and over and over.
I don’t know about you, but this can drive me mad.
If the TV is on I don’t expect them to hear me. I know I need to mute the television, or stand in front of it, or otherwise gain their attention before speaking.
But when they’re playing with toys or drawing, and the room is quiet I expect things to be different.
Am I alone, or do you also find it difficult to get your kids to listen?
It’s enough to make me want to yell. And rant.
And the really frustrating thing is that one of my two girls often hears me. But not my youngest. Not my little dreamer.
She’s in her own little world. Perfectly content and cocooned.
But I’ve found a solution. Something so simple I’m kicking myself for not thinking of it sooner.
In fact, it not only solves the problem, it allows me to vent too.
And it all started when my daughter hated her teacher.Continue reading
Ever feel stuck?
Even in a small way, like about dinner.
I often get stuck thinking, “I hate having to decide what to cook for dinner every night.”
And kids get stuck too, on things like, “Oh, not peas again. I hate peas.”
Or, “Do we HAVE to go grocery shopping? Grocery shopping sucks!”
There’s a lot about life that can be tedious and boring and cause us and our kids to get stuck.
Once we get something into our heads, it’s like it gets etched there.
Particularly if it’s behaviour related.
We fall into a rut and before we know it we feel like we’re stuck in our own personal Ground Hog day.
Sentenced to live the same routine over and over and over until we get it right.
In Ground Hog Day Bill Murray lives the same day over and over. And it gets pretty boring so he starts playing around with it.
He tries different behaviour to see if he gets a different result.
He’s so bored with living the same day over and over that he wants to break the cycle.
And that’s the key.Continue reading
Does this sound familiar?
You’re constantly tired exhausted and on edge. So you’re less patient than you’d like.
The kids get under your skin. You try to stay calm but you’re so tired you crack. You lose it and yell or slam the door.
As soon as you do, you feel worse.
You’re tired and cranky and impatient and now … you’re also drowning in guilt. And self-loathing.
You hate not being the parent you wished you would be.
The calm, patient, understanding person you want to be. The person who has everything in order and under control.
Instead, you feel like crap. Useless, impatient, and imperfect.
You’re snapping at the kids. The house is a mess. Nothing is as it should be.And what’s worse is that now you have to find the energy to try and fix it all.
When you’re so exhausted you could sleep for a week.
So what’s the solution?Continue reading
Go on, admit it.
You've tried bribing your kids.
It's OK. We've all done it.
At some point, we've all offered our kids a reward for certain behaviour. A lolly to stop crying. A dollar to clean up their room. Some time on the iPad if they do some reading.
We all do it because once we become parents we experience one sensation far more frequently than non-parents.
I'm talking about Desperation. And yes it does have a capital 'D' after you have kids.
No one can understand Desperation properly until they've been sleep deprived by a newborn. Or tormented by a demented toddler.
Or tortured by a tween who keeps asking for the same thing over and over and over.
Even though you've told her 'No'.
Desperation drives us to give up and give in. To be worn down by little people constantly saying "pleeeease!" or "NOW can I watch TV" (every five minutes).
So in Desperation we resort to bribery.
And we learn that it's completely ineffective.Continue reading
Wouldn’t it be great?
If your kids actually wanted to behave.
If you could be less frustrated and angry, because your kids listened to what you said.
If they were keen to help you and do what you asked.
What if there were a simple technique you could use to make this transformation? To actually transform your kids into people who wanted to behave.
Well, there is a way.
Now, what I’m about to tell you might seem like it won't address the issue. You might not believe it works, but it does.
It's simple, it's incredibly effective, and it's even enjoyable for both you and your kids.
Are you ready to give it a go?Continue reading
Frustrating, isn't it?
Trying to get your kids to do the things that they should do, but don't want to. Or something you'd like them to do, but they're not interested in.
Whether it's eating vegetables, doing their homework, or helping with the housework.
As an aside, does anyone want to do those things? I'd rather eat what I want, and do what I want when I want. But, that won't get four hungry people fed and out the door in the mornings!
Where was I? Oh yes. How do you exert a little pressure, and encourage your kids in the right direction, without yelling, cajoling or bullying?
All too often it ends in tears and frustration.
You ask your kids to do their homework and you get something like, "Oh, do I have to? Gemma's mom doesn't make her do homework!"
And then you end up have this looong discussion about how the rules at your house aren't the same as Gemma's, and that homework is important if you want good grades ...
Then, eventually, they grump about long enough that they feel they've made their point and grudgingly do their homework.
But it's like pulling teeth! Why does it have to be that hard?
Well, here's why. Power.
Your kids want to excerpt a little power, particularly when they feel they don't have any. They know they have to do what's asked, but they're not going to do it without a little kickback.
A little "let's see how you like it when I throw my weight around".But you can avoid all that with this little tool.
It's simple and easy (you know that's my favourite!), and it empowers your kids.
It reduces power struggles and still allows you to get what you want.
Sounds like magic, right?Continue reading
You're racing around, trying to get yourself and the kids out of the house. You ask your kids to put their shoes and socks on and go to brush your teeth.
When you get back only one child has put socks on, but not on themselves. No. They've put them on the dog.
So you tell them they need to put their shoes and socks on because you're leaving the house in two minutes.
You check you've got your keys, wallet and phone. No phone. Oh, it's there on the table.
You grab your phone, and look up, expecting to see your kids with their shoes and socks on.
But they're larking about.What? Why don't they listen? Don't they realise that you're trying to get places on time? Aaarrgh.
You're about to explode. You should have left the house five minutes ago.
You go to yell, but somehow you stop yourself.Continue reading