Do you feel as if you’re always ordering your children what to do always telling, telling, telling and sometimes yelling? You’re not alone. Most of us have been there and know it’s not the place we want to be as parents. The last thing you need to do is feel bad. It’s what many of us experienced as children growing up, especially if we had an authoritarian styled parent for a father, mother or both. One thing is certain, if we’re always telling our children what to do, they will never know what to do on their own. And worse, they will pass inherit this style of parenting and teach it to their children. If a change in parenting style isn’t made children will grow up and transition into adulthood always waiting to be told what to do next. You can see how this can have significant impact whether or not a child will achieve a successful life or plateau and life an average life of mediocrity.
“Obstacles and problems are a part of life. True happiness comes not when we get rid of all our problems, but when we change our relationship to them, when we see our problems as a potential source of awakening, opportunities to practice patience, and to learn.” –Chad Schapiro
If you have older children I’m sure you know first-hand that children don’t like to be told what to do. So let’s get you started on setting up a system that supports both the parents and children to live in harmony, be productive and happy. (Special note: As you read and apply the steps suggested here always be sure your child is safe and well taken care of. Never neglect the basic needs of the child and always take into consideration their age and ability level.)
Step 1. Pause and observe by breaking the habit of always telling the children what to do. Let go of the need to “make” them do what they “should” be doing. At first it may be difficult to step outside of your zone of what’s familiar to you. Just remember to catch yourself when you feel the urge to tell them what to do by consciously let go and just allow. Life is messy and sometimes you have to allow the home to become untidy in order for little ones to learn to appreciate tidiness. If your home is always spick and span, how can one develop an appreciation of a clean home if they don’t experience messy from time to time? Become the observer. Give yourself the time and the space to relax, enjoy and feel good about life no matter how disorderly it may be. You will learn a lot about your children as well as yourself by becoming the observer. It takes time for old habits to give way to new ones. Be forgiving and patient. As you change so will your children.
Step 3. Eliminate chaos. It should always be of high priority to set yourself and your children up for success. Success is about environment, schedule and accountability. This means we must clear out anything that is not aligned with our values in short everything that is not serving our greater good. De-clutter your environment and your schedule. Free up space in your home so you can do what you really love. De-clutter your schedule so you’re only attending or participating in that which is aligned with your values. If need be, do a schedule total makeover by eliminating all your commitments and starting over fresh. You don’t have to go to every party, social event or even leave the house if you don’t feel like it unless it’s on your terms. In fact, setting yourself up with more days at home gives you more power to be successful with the changes you want to make. As you get rid of old ways of doing things, be sure you have a new system to put in place. Everyone needs to have a plan in place and know what is expected of them in this new way of doing things. A well-organized plan can keep things running smooth and productively honoring everyone’s personal space.