I want to make this short and sweet because if you’re like me, you feel very bombarded with information, and “things you must do”, and “things you must NOT do”, and finishing up schoolwork, and work. Oh and also parenting kids who have been cooped up and wonder why they can’t go to the playground or over to a friend’s house.
Life just feels weird right now. All of our emotions are high…and kids are going to share their emotions in quite a variety of ways…some sweet, some annoying…some whining…some raging. And sometimes you just never know what you’re going to get!
It’s hard. This is hard on all of us. And sometimes it’s easy to get angry or yell. But there are better strategies…better tools we can use.
1. THE REWIND TOOL
If kids don’t do the right thing the first time, just simply ask them to rewind and try it again. We do not have to allow disrespect or disobedience in our home, but we also don’t have to issue consequences every time they do anything “wrong”. Our kids are learning, so why not give them “on the spot” training and have them do it again. This way they can experience success right away while also knowing that you are not going to allow their inappropriate behavior. By the way, with strong-willed kids, you may have to rewind many, many times. “Nothing else will happen in your day until you choose to try this again respectfully. Thank you.”
2. THE PRACTICE TOOL
The Rewind Tool is great if our kids say something or do something that needs to be done again to get it right. But The Practice Tool is very intentional time you set aside to practice the skills and character traits you want to instill in your kids. You can do this at a Family Meeting each week where you play a Listening and Obeying game. Or before they get on an electronic device, you have them quickly practice what they will say when you say it’s time to turn it off. For kids to get better at things, they need to practice them. Why not have them practice getting better at being obedient or respectful or helpful or kind?
Now is the time to practice better tools and better reactions. The longer we are all cooped up together, the more time we have to teach them better responses and build better relationships with them. Let’s use this time to our full advantage.
It is my prayer that The Rewind Tool and The Practice Tool brings less anger as well as shorter fits and sweeter moments to your parenting interactions this week! We’re all in this together, parents.
Lord, You know what we each need to be the calm parent You are calling us to be. Bring Your patience and kindness into our homes and Your peace into our hearts.
Here’s to building better families together–
For more tools in the Teamwork Parenting Approach, click here.