Even if you are experiencing difficulties with your kids, it doesn’t have to define every moment of every day.
When you think back on your day, look for some of the lighter moments. Share those moments, and anything positive you can find about them. Even if your child rolls his eyes or makes disparaging remarks about it, keep doing it. You have to lighten up somewhere. Don’t take their attitude personally. Show them that they do bring more to you than aggravation.
Plan for some family time together. Yes, I know. Family time with a child who has you on edge is really challenging. So here’s a plan to work around it:
1. Schedule family time as you would any other appointment.
2. Brainstorm a list of activities – everyone adds an idea.
3. Write down EVERY idea, no matter how ridiculous or outlandish it sounds. Why? Because if you don’t write it down, then your kids will ask why you wanted their input in the first place. And they’d be right. Get it?
4. Go through the list together. With a sense of humor, eliminate the unrealistic or modify to keep it on the list. “Skateboarding, Mark? How about we all go, but I sit it out. With my back, you’d have to bring me home in a cast! But if it’s important to you, I want to be there.”
5. Make it clear that each time a different person will pick the activity. That way everyone gets to choose what they like, and they also participate in what others like. And even if they don’t smile through the experience, there are no grumbling and bad attitudes allowed… because everyone else has to compromise, too.
Fern Weis is a Parent Coach and Family Recovery Life Coach. She works with parents of teens and young adults who are going through difficult situations, from the homework wars to addiction recovery, and all points in between. Fern helps parents release guilt, end enabling, and confidently prepare their children to thrive and be successful through life's challenges. FernWeis.com | 201-747-9642