If you have a high-energy youngster living under your roof then this might prove helpful.
The first thing I remind myself is there’s nothing, and no one, to fix. My kids are happy and the feedback from the outside world is positive.
I ask myself, “With this child, what’s my role?”
My role is to avoid becoming the problem.
- taking care of my sleep, my body, my mind and my habits
- ensuring that I get enough silent time (alone and in nature)
- steering away from the urge for revenge, aggression and anger
All Day Engagement – a bored alpha child makes everyone miserable, including herself. While some kids can putter and amuse themselves (see below), our oldest does best with a structured day with unstructured breaks.
Ritual & Routine – from birth, my wife has done an excellent job of conditioning the kids to relax when their heads are wrapped in a soft cotton blanket. It works so well that our oldest will resist when she doesn’t want to relax. Ritual and routine are soothing to an anxious child.
Parent Like Dora – if you’ve watched Dora the Explorer then you’ll know that each show features three steps.
To give my kids something to latch onto, I’m always explaining the next three steps…
- Dinner, Bike, Shower
- Bath, Pajamas, Story
- Socks, Shoes, Car
Spread The Energy – I use high chairs, assigned seating, cold drinks and air conditioning to reduce stress when we’re packed together.
- For drives, my Sienna is set up with staggered seating so the kids can’t whack each other. Throwing things in the car is highly frowned upon!
- As they develop, we find that different kids push our buttons. To dial down the house, I’ll take a little “disrupter” on a trip. The trips last anywhere from an an afternoon to a week. Sometimes I take more than one kid.
Do you know your parenting preference?
Mine is a shared activity with one person – I sign up for that a lot.
It’s proven much easier to change my attitude, habits and approach than the core personality traits of my children.
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