You know the look on your child’s face when they have to do something – like when you make them go have a bath. You make them have their dinner. You make them pick up their toys. And you make them go to bed. It’s pretty disappointing for the child to be MADE do all this stuff all the time – especially when they don’t want to. And everybody knows that time of day can get pretty heated as the war of wills unfolds. They don’t want to, you say they have to. I don’t really need to go into the details – you have this image in your mind, I know it’s a very familiar scenario for all parents.
How can we change this?
You might know that kids certainly know what they want. I know mine do. George is 3 ½ & Claire is 17 months & they let me know several times a day that what I am making them do is completely against their will. Unless I decide to make it fun & allow them to be willing to do the things we need to do anyway.
Since I’ve noticed this resistance coming up too often, I’ve decided to take a different approach. I got thinking – what if I can make my kids WANT to do the things that I want them to do. That way lining up their will with mine & creating a peaceful happy home full of co-operation & helpfulness.
I know I know! You are hanging on the edge of your seat waiting anxiously how I intend to do this – or you are ready to close out of this page & write me off as a “far away fairy-tale mum living on a cloud”?
I’m nothing special. I’m certainly no fairy tale. And last time I checked, I don’t live on a cloud. I’m just ME. Little old me. Trying to share with you – a technique that I think (I hope) will work & somehow transform the way we approach our kids when we WANT them to do what we say.
Sound inviting? Well I think like anything, it’s actually quite simple. But in this complicated mixed up world we get caught doing things back to front. Only now am I realising that if I just decide to do things differently then my experiences will be different.
If there’s something you want to change – but don’t know how – ask yourself, are you complicating things without being fully aware? You might be surprised. OR it might just be me doing this & all of you reading this are thinking seriously?! This woman didn’t know this already?!”
I’ve found myself, that when I decide I WANT to do something, rather than just being forced into having to do it – it is more enjoyable, I get more out of the experience & quite often feel more at peace within myself. It’s even a little bit empowering, uplifting & confidence building because you don’t feel the pressure of being under the pump. This has to be the same for children (we all have that little child inside us who regularly teaches us how to behave in life).
As a mum, having to guide & teach my children & constantly direct them towards the things that are right – you can easily get bogged down in the detail of having to do it all the time. I remind myself that I chose this. I decided I wanted to have kids, I wanted to have a family, I wanted to be a mum & with that comes a list of responsibilities that I should WANT to do. But I don’t always. I mean who wants to change poopy nappies day after day, week after week? Someone who cares for the wellbeing of her children & knows that it is part of caring for their needs.
Who wants to wash dishes & do laundry in rounds more frequent than ever before? Someone who cares for the functioning of her household & knows that it is part of caring for her family’s needs.
Who wants to drive the kids to the shops, take them to appointments & arrange kiddie parties for them all throughout the year? Someone who cares for the wellbeing of her children & knows that it is part of caring for their needs.
Who wants to stay home all day every day to experience minimal stimulating conversation & deal with sometimes being abused, puked on, screamed at, thrown toys at & unappreciated? Someone who cares for the wellbeing of her children & knows that it is part of caring for their needs.
When I decided I wanted to become a mum – I’m pretty sure I ticked off all the things I wanted to do as a mum – all the fun stuff, all the soppy lovey-dovey nurturing stuff that gives you butterflies. All the bear hugs, kisses & cuddles, smiles & laughs. – But I also decided that I would be someone who cares for the wellbeing of her children & knows that all of the above is part of caring for their needs.
En essence – I want to do this. I don’t just have to. . .I WANT to.
As kids enter this world, starting out. . . we (the parents) are all they know. They rely on us to guide them, support them, encourage them & help them grow into individuals being able to establish what is the right & wrong.
Coming back to thinking about the things that we don’t want to do – it all comes down to our overall attitude. When I think of the things that I don’t necessarily want to do, but choose to focus on the reasons why I should be willing to do them – it helps me to lighten the burden involved with being made do things against my will all the time. This works for me, it works for my kids. When they understand that by co-operating they are helping you, you might find that they are more than happy to co-operate.
It’s worth a try right?