Do you sometimes feel like you are two different people when you are comforting your child and when you are telling them off?
Would you rather spend more time being the first and less time being the second?
Say you are trying to stop your children from picking holes in each other.
As you hear them going on and on, your own level of frustration rises to barely tolerable level.
Before you know it...
You have said something like: ‘You are not going to the birthday party this weekend if you can’t be civil to each other’.
And then 5 minutes later you are wondering why on earth you said that and how you can get yourself out this hole...
We’ve all been there and will probably visit that place again.
Still, I believe that with a certain amount of effort the process of guiding them towards a more respectful, more considerate, kinder relationship can feel as safe, nurturing and connected as when you are playing ‘I spy’.
At least sometimes.
Here are my three humble tips:
Step 1. Press the pause button. I know it is easier said than done when you are feeling on the edge. That’s why you don’t need anything complicated. If you can remember to take those few slow breaths or leave the room for a couple of minutes – you are winning.
Step 2. Once you are feeling more like your normal self - look at the situation through your child’s eyes. You might be thinking: ‘I just want them to stop saying mean things to each other!!!’ Take a couple more breaths and step in your child’s shoes.
What’s going on??? Is he tired? Is she worried that she is not as important as his brother? Is he feeling left out? Is she so focused on keeping up with her brother that she does not even know what she wants any more?
Step 3. Once you have some sort of idea about what might be going on - look for solutions together. So often we put ourselves under pressure to find the solution or to give that perfect answer or to explain things in a way that will make perfect sense...
But what if children don’t need our solutions or perfect answers?
What if they would rather find their own?
Try listening instead of talking, asking some questions instead of giving the answers:
Sounds like you are pretty upset with each other at the moment. What’s going on?
I can’t understand when you both talk at the same time. Who will go first?
How can I help you remember your kind words?
3 easier-said-than-done steps – you can make it work for you by doing it over and over again.
P.s. If you would like support to implement those ideas in your day-to-day parenting – head to my calendar to book a consultation.