Children need to know they are important to their parents and that their feelings and preferences will be listened to and accommodated where possible. Inevitably, however, family life involves compromise. Everyone’s needs are taken into consideration, which requires the cooperation of all family members. Keep your family rules simple and discuss them with your children while you’re establishing them. You might even like to record them in a family book or display them on the wall.
Children respond to our confidence and calm. And they like it when they know the deal and there is no fuss attached to it. In her book Kids Are Worth It!, Barbara Coloroso puts it so well: “Say it, mean it, do it.” This keeps interactions between parents and children simple, fair, uncomplicated and respectful. Everyone likes to be treated this way. So next time you’re heading down the ‘too much talk’ track – stop, breathe and allow yourself a few words (just a few!). All you need is a calm delivery and a simple follow-through to reinforce your intention. This might sound like, “Time to put the blocks away now. The TV can go back on as soon as all the blocks are in the basket.”
Keep up the amazing work! And remember, once is enough for instructions. Save your voice for the fun stuff, like reading stories, singing loudly in public (kids love it when we do that) and catching up with your friends!