As parents, we often find ourselves on a merry-go-round ride with our kids. We jump from one thing to the next hoping we can solve at least one problem before the next one presents itself.
As we circle on this merry-go-round, getting dizzier and dizzier, trying to win these battles ourselves, more often than not we hear these three words… "just one more!." Just one more minute to play at the park. Just one more drink of water. Just one more kiss and hug before bed. Just one more cookie. The just one more never seems to end. The trouble is there are so many of them it's impossible to keep up.
In actuality, our kids don't really need all of these just one more's. What they do need is their sense of power and attention.
Kids often feel a lack of power and attention due to certain parenting styles. Think of your kids' power and attention as two large cups of water. If these cups start to lose water and empty, your kids' attention and power will feel empty. When this happens the negative behaviors, tantrums, back talking and more will come at you full throttle. When parents fill up their kid's attention and power cups, their kids will feel at ease.
So, how do I fill up my kid's cups and keep them full? Here are simple, easy-to-implement solutions so that you can start today.
Keep in mind that simple and easy doesn't mean a quick fix. Once you consistently begin implementing these new steps into your daily routine, within one week, you will begin to see positive changes appear right before your eyes.
How to make your child feel powerful
1. Try not to do anything for them they can almost do themselves.
When we do things for our kids that they are capable of doing on their own, we are telling them that we don't feel they are capable just yet. In turn, this decreases their self-worth and confidence and leads them to lash out and search for more power. Our actions speak louder than words.
2. Establish daily routines and charts that your kids can follow and complete independently.
Work together with your kids to create morning and bedtime charts that they can follow on their own. When you do this, the chart becomes the boss and leaves you free of reminding. They'll feel powerful knowing that they completed tasks on the chart on their own.
3. Give them room and space to succeed and fail.
If you are constantly reminding your kids to complete their charts, pack their homework and brush their teeth, how will they ever learn to remember on their own? Kids who forget often have parents who always remind. Try encouraging them to learn on their own. For example, if they forget their lunch or homework one day, don't drive it to school if they could get by without it. If you do step in often, it can show them that you will always be there as back up—and that's okay! But, letting them forget and learn from natural consequences will help them to be more apt to remember the next time. This is where the true learning and responsibility begins to grow. These are life lessons we need our kids to learn.
4. Offer opportunities to do more chores and help out around the house.
Working together to complete household duties gives our kids a sense of power, as it makes them feel needed. Kids as young as 2 years old can have age-appropriate tasks. Start small.
Have your kids put all their clothes in the hamper and participate in rounding up toys. As they grow, so will the list of duties. Soon you will have kids as young as 4 or 5-years-old vacuuming, folding laundry and taking out the garbage. The best part is they will be happy helping out. It won't be a battle and you will have all hands on deck! Chores make you kids feel needed and a part of the family, which directly gives them power.
5. Create golden time.
This is the secret sauce to parenting. It is the simplest way to keep your kid's attention cups full and will result in happy kids and happy parents. Follow the specific formula below and within one week you will see results.
Golden Time Formula:
- Two times per day for 10 minutes (morning and evening)
- Uninterrupted (no cell phones)
- Doing something your child wants to do
- Label it (let them know you are wanting Golden Time with them)
I dare you to commit one week to consistent Golden Time and your life as a parent will change, I have no doubt!
You now have the inside scoop to put a stop to all the battles and the "just one mores." It's time to hop off that crazy merry-go-round and start enjoying parenting while helping your kiddos feel like they're heard and seen.