Harmony at home
Be the change you want to see in your children…
Life as a mother of three is busy. Life as a mother of an adopted child with behavioural issues is crazy busy. The constant demands of monitoring, managing and following through with consequences often means the younger two miss out on most of my time. As I lay awake night after night I realise my babies are slowly becoming strangers that I feed and direct to the next activity. This isn't how I imagined family life…
In the quest to find a harmonious home I've been 'a diggin'. I've staggered out of the local libraries with towers of self-help and parenting books. I've googled at 3am. I've signed up for every 'parenting the strong willed child' course. I've dug deep and low and behold it seems the answers are somewhat simple? Surely not?
Play and Praise.
These are the foundations. Sit with your son when he asks you to look at his new Minecraft creation, sit on your hands and ask him to show you how it works, you might actually be surprised at how creative the seemingly mindless and addictive game actually is. Ask your daughter if she would like to bake something and let her dictate the process, acknowledge her skills and letting her try new things. The purpose is to connect. To get on their level. To take interest in their interests. To put down your dishcloth and duster, to turn off the computer and phone and connect and hear and be with your children.
It's amazing what it does for your stress levels. In a house of ‘hollerers’ (neighbour verified*) we have become conscious of the noise levels and determined to take it down notch or four. I have decide to ignore the - shall we say - 'testing' behaviour more and praise the good. I heard once that 'the fastest way to change is through praise' and I bid you to jump on board and try it too, just for a week. Be amazed. Praise the praise! Admittedly at times I have to dig for the praise: "Well done Johnny, I really like the way you decided not to punch your brother, that shows great control," or "Fantastic work Gertrude, you've managed to stay in the same outfit for 20minutes now, that really helps mummy out my big girl." But in doing so we are rewarding the behaviour we desire with recognition. I tell you guys, these are the big guns.
And it appears to be working! I kid you not; trying these simple tactics will not only save your family but keep you smiling. It's a much happier place when the wild hollering woman takes leave and fun Sal steps in! In the insightful words of Ghandi "be the change you want to see in your children,” well almost…
*This neighbour lives more than 200m away from our house.
You must be signed in to comment. Sign in or Register