I have two boys…I find myself frustrated and feeling guilty much of the time because I am not having fun being a parent these days! A mother of a 2 and 4-year-old.
This parent was being brave by revealing how hard parenting of toddlers can be. Some want to judge her, some want to say, “me too,” and I say, “I understand.”
Here are four simple steps increase your fun level:
1. Be a “good finder.” I notice you sharing your toys with your brother,” etc. Start a “good finder” punch card for each kid.
2. Look at your parenting style: helicopter, drill sergeant, or consultant, and work at handing problems back to the person they belong to greatly reduces stress.
• Helicopter – Do you have the tendency to rescue and protect your children?
• Drill Sergeant – Do you tell your children what and how they should do things?
• Consultant – Do you guide your children, but allow them to make their own decisions and mistakes?
Helicopter and drill sergeants send the same message of low personal worth because either way they need their parent to do it for them or need to be told how to do it. On the other hand, the consultant parent provides a clear message of personal worth and strength by helping the child explore alternatives and allowing the child to make their own decisions and live with the consequences.
Handing back problems to the person they belong to:
• Provide a strong dose of empathy by using a one liner.
• Oh man
• Bummer, how sad
• That must not feel good
• I can see this makes you sad, mad, frustrated, etc.
• How sad
• Tell me more about it
• Hand the problem back with “What are you going to do? I call this the power message
• Ask permission to give some choices. Can I give you some ideas other kids have tried? If they say no, “Let me know if you change your mind.”
• Give 2 or 3 choices, and after each choice ask, “How will that work for you?”
• Problem solved or not solved and your child learns either way. If a problem must be solved immediately by you, go back to the child latter and walk through the steps and ask how they could have handled it differently.
For more information check out Helicopters, Drill Sergeants, and Consultants, and How to hand back problems go to http://www.loveandlogic.com.
3. Do one fun activity daily that allows you to be silly and laugh with your kids!
4. Spend one day evaluating the things that you are getting upset about, pick one to work on. If we over discipline about everything – we lose the fun.
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