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"Raising" Our Children

How many moms can say that the second they pick up the phone, space aliens invade their children's bodies and instruct them to act irrationally and make sure they're loud about it?  Your child may as well be marching through the kitchen with a picket sign reading, "I need more from you." While that phrase may make most moms and dads deflate, as they feel they have no more to "give", perhaps just simple adjustments to how we approach situations with our children can make a significant difference in our children's behavior and overall demeanor.

It is a part of every child's biological makeup to do whatever it takes to fill themselves with attention (whatever kind it may be), feel as though they fulfill an important family role, and carry a sense of their own value and significance.  Parents tend to control and manage every aspect of their little one's lives in their effort to be the best caregivers they can be.  Being a caregiver is a complicated task because in order to make quick decisions you must be completely tuned in to not just what your little person is saying but how they're behaving.  

   Where to start?  Just pick one or two things to try for a week and reflect on any noticable results.  Just give yourself one week to commit to one of these choices.  My favorite, is to allot 10 minutes once or twice a day, if possible, to spend just with one child at a time.  Your role is to do whatever the child chooses.  They're in charge.  Do not answer the phone, texts, or allow yourself any other distractions.  Let your child come up with a name for this time.  Brayden Time for example.  You'll find your child asking for these 10 minutes with great anticipation!  

Another task to try is to "catch your child doing good."  Please take out a magnifying glass for this one!  Do your best to be very positive and complimentary (not with prizes, but with compliments).  Allow your child to overhear you praising them to other people.  Example, "Bruno put his markers away after he used them this morning without me asking.  He is SO organized for his age."  It could even be little things like complimenting manners and generalizing how very polite your little person is.  

Have conversations at dinner about how each family member is counted on for certain contributions and how the house just wouldn't run as smoothly without them.  Be very positive and complimentary.  Ask your child to suggest any other tasks that they would like to contribute to the home or family.  If they get stuck, point out some of their strengths or hobbies.  If they love coloring, maybe they can be in charge of making beautiful pictures to decorate the kitchen with.  

Overall, make sure that there is constant communication and that expectations are clear.  Keep the atmosphere in your home positive.  If rules are clear and consequences are appropriate...always follow through. (Look for Creating House Rules in an upcoming blog.) Children look for and appreciate boundaries.  It is an important part of making them feel safe.  Allow your child to find their important role in the home, praise them for their contributions, empower them as often as possible, and above all give them the gift of your time and undivided attention.  It will pay off in more ways than you can imagine.  Remember, we all have bad days.  Think of each new morning as a fresh start! 

I'd love to hear any feedback, results, or additional ideas and comments.  Please click on COMMENTS to share, like, or well...comment.  

Thanks for reading!

-Tara Lynn D'Uva

Passionate Parenting

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