As parents we have the power and authority to set the precedence in our homes. Yes, those little rascal’s behavior has a lot to do with the atmosphere, but we can call a “hard stop” to it. If you step back, a lot of times the atmosphere in our homes can be more of a reflection of our (the parents) demeanor. While we quickly excuse the tension in our homes as the kids are “out of control” or “why are they so irritable”, if we step back and truly reflect on what we are bringing to the table, a lot of times the atmosphere reflects us.
So here is what I have found. I’m telling you this because this week has been HARD and I truly had to put this to the test. Our kid’s behavior can often be correlated to our connection with them. It has been a hectic week for our family: my husband has been working later, I have been playing catch up in different areas, we have had dentist appointments, college meetings, chiropractor appointments… a lot going on. All that to say, no wonder our kids are grouchy! How much of this ‘busy’ week have I intentionally showed up for them? Listen, I am not a good “player”- I do not enjoy barbies, playing Legos, or taking the time to sit on the floor and be still with my kids. BUT what I am great at is, showing up in little moments. Taking intentional moments to show them they are seen, heard, and loved. I have not been great at that this week and its showing in their attitudes and behaviors. So, I am calling a “hard stop” to it! I know when I show up authentically for my kids, they feel it, their behavior reflects it, and ultimately, they feel so much love!
Here are my “5 Easy ways to speak love to my children”:
- Focus on your words. Example: Instead of saying, “What a mess!”, consider saying, “It looks like you had a lot of fun! How can we clean this up?”.
- Consider your tone. This is especially hard when your child comes whining or complaining for the 5000th time in the day. This goes hand in hand with step one. Rather than dropping the inflection of the last word in your statement, use an upward inflection. So, when your child comes running and crying, we can say “What is the matter?” with a downward inflection of the word ‘matter’ or we can say “what is the matter?” with an upward inflection of the word ‘matter’… Try it! These 2 statements now sound completely different to our children.
- Get down on their level and make eye contact when they are talking. Literally, do it. Squat down to their eye level or posture yourself in a chair that you can directly look at them with your entire body, shoulders, and all. This posturing of your eyes and body makes them feel seen and know the words they are about say are valuable and important to you.
- Point out things they are doing well and tell them! “Thanks for your help with…”, “You did so well on…”, “How did you think of that?”
- Leave notes of encouragement for them to find. Tape a little note to their bedroom door, leave a note in their lunch, with their snack, or at the dinner table.
Let us not get too ‘busy’ and forget to make little moments. When I make these mental shifts not only does it affect my mindset, but I see a reflection in the atmosphere of my home and in the behavior of our kids.
I hope these simple reminders help you refocus and if necessary, help make the “hard stop” your family needs also.
CEO My Luvkins