“There is no such thing as a perfect parent. Just be a real one.”
The Positive Parent | By: Jamare Harris
You do not have to tell me! I know it all too well… quarantine has the whole house in an uproar and while we love our children dearly, we are going crazy! Of course, some days smoother than others but trust me, a year in the house with anyone would make you question your sanity. Relief may come in certain ways. Maybe they’re going to school for a half day. Or, a walk that you don’t have to be on because you beat your spouse in “rock, paper, scissors” but let’s be completely transparent, this...is...different. Okay, now that we’ve said it, what do we do? Here are some fun and engaging ways that we can be the type of parents we want to be, firm and kind. In addition to some ways that we can turn those listening ears on and keep them on.
First things first! Please sit down with your children and create a schedule. Until you do that, you’ll continue to pull your hair out. Have fun with it. Ask them what they think is important, let them draw pictures, let them have a say! If you dictate, you’ll be sure to fail. Children want to feel included in this busy world of grown ups who are always making decisions for them.
Next, carve out special time with your children that you can actually show up for and keep it consistent! Children thrive off of routine! For me, it’s reading at bedtime. My daughter can always count on that every day activity with me. You have to build connection before correction… so, on to the correction.
Having an issue with listening ears? Don’t we all! Well, that’s where that schedule comes in. Refer back to what they’ve created and use language like; “when you do this, you may do that” “when we do what we have to do, we can do what we want to do”. No, it’s not that easy, this will take time but eventually the consistency along with your child feeling a part of the big picture will help calm their desire to ignore you.
Lastly, when caring for your child at any time, whether we are in quarantine or not, remember, they are children! Watch your tone, voice level and body language. Children acquire learned behaviors by their biggest role model… YOU! So parents, mind your manners, they’re watching.
Until next time, stay positive, parents!