IT’S ALL ABOUT BALANCE
Parenting is all about giving some and taking some. Without this balance, you can find yourself feeling trapped as parenting can sometimes feel like a constant cycle of nag, yell, remind, and repeat. When we fall into this cycle, everything can begin to feel overwhelming and exhausting. We start feeling bad about ourselves due to the way we are treating our kids. In return, our kids’ misbehaviors increase, further perpetuating this vicious cycle. This rat race continues to escalate and over time, parenting starts to feel like a neverending marathon.
If you feel as though your days are filled with nagging and yelling and you can’t get your kids to listen or help out around the house, then I suggest you take a step back and check in with your level of balance.
What are the biggest troubles I am encountering with my kids? Is it back talking and sassiness or am I stuck doing everything for my kids all day long?
THEN YOU NEED BALANCE
BALANCE is important for all areas of our lives! Without balance, we are off kilter and life will often feel like one giant struggle. The same goes for our kids. If, as a parent, you are doing everything for your kids and constantly reminding them to do things, then your kids are not being given the opportunity to find balance. You need to find ways for your kids to feel capable and independent. They need this to find their own sense of independence and balance.
How do I stop doing things for my kids and how do I start getting them to participate?
Follow these steps to encourage your kids’ sense of independence and get your kids to lend a helping hand.
1) Recognize your biggest hurdle like we discussed above.
2) Speak with your partner to be sure you’re on the same page.
3) Speak with your kids (kids as young as two years of age can participate) about the new plans to have everyone help out around the house. Explain how you are each a part of this family and therefore need to work together.
4) Use charts as a visual aid to help create success. Have a family communication centre, somewhere you can display a weekly chore list, maybe even a point system and rewards incentive to encourage participation from your children.
Charts are an excellent concrete tool to help kids accomplish the duties and responsibilities you expect of them. Charts for toddlers and younger children may include picking up toys, brushing their teeth, and putting their clothes away in a hamper. Older kids may have charts that include making their bed, cleaning their room, packing their backpack and take out the garbage. You will practice these routines and charts a few times over to help ensure they are clear on what’s expected.
How does balance have anything to do with getting my kids to help out and follow a chart?
First off, balance will begin to form as you all work together. Your family becomes one unit and operates from a space of togetherness, instead of you doing everything for everyone. As your kids begin to participate and complete more tasks, I don’t want you to think that you have to be a complete drill sergeant at all times. Remember we ALL NEED BALANCE! From time to time, it’s a good idea to give your kids a break! Give them some freebies and opportunities to take a day off if they’ve completed their chores throughout the week.
In our house, we have what’s called “Skip Your Bed Sunday.” On Sundays, the boys can leave their beds a mess and reap some reward and balance for their hard work throughout the week. The funny thing is when you offer balance your kids will surprise you. They will be more apt to cooperate. They will feel like part of a team and not as though they are being constantly “bossed.” I am always surprised on “Skip Your Bed Sundays,” when they make their beds anyway!
There are numerous ways you can create balance in your home. Another way we find balance in our home is by offering “Special Cereal Friday,” where we offer a not so healthy cereal of their choice each Friday. Eating healthy is a huge part of our family values, and we do eat healthy ninety percent of the time. But again, balance is necessary. By offering special foods and dessert, you instill in your kids what it means to have a healthy relationship with food. . Without forbidden foods, you help decrease the novelty and kids are more apt to eat the healthy foods knowing they have choice and balance. You will battle less with your kids at mealtimes and help develop competent eaters with balance!
These are just a few ways to give and take a little so that you can create balance in your family. The “Give Some And Take Some” parenting tool will likely be one of your go-to resources to help you stop nagging and yelling. Watch how your kids begin to help out and start cooperating.
Remember: BALANCE MEANS TO GIVE SOME AND TAKE SOME!
Author | Blogger | Mama x 2
Tia has a Masters Degree in Early Childhood Education, is Certified in Positive Discipline and trained in Positive Parenting Solutions. She has worked with kids and families for over 15 years and is also a mother of two young boys. Tia is the founder of Tia Slightham- Parenting Solutions, where she works with parents to give them positive ways to decrease the daily struggles we all encounter as parents. Tia will work alongside you to tailor a plan to best suit your family’s specific needs. The positive solutions will be effective, long-lasting and most importantly, will help you and your child re-connect.