Can you imagine if your partner said, "put on your shoes" ten times before you left the house? Is there any reason to listen to the first nine times? By the tenth time, you might be ready to throw your shoes out the door and tell your partner to go by themselves!
And yet, with our kids, we yell orders from the other room and wonder why our demands are not met. We repeat them again and again, ramping up our own anger and frustration.
They ignore us and we keep demanding.
I am not a big fan of new year’s resolutions. We come up with a list of things to do better, to be better, to spend less, and lose more. We think about all of the things we don’t like about ourselves and decide January first is the day to make all of these changes at once. Both my professional background and my life experience have taught me this is an ideal recipe for failure.
This week on King 5 News, I shared how to help children develop a sense of gratitude during the holiday season and all year. For more on this topic, check out Gifts & Gratitude: Helping Kids Appreciate The Holiday Season.
Many of us can’t wait for the holidays. We imagine lazing around with family, drinking hot cocoa and kids content to play all day, needing nothing but their new toys. In reality, we often find ourselves frantically finishing holiday shopping while wrapping up work projects before the kids are out of school for two weeks. Not to mention packing for travel or rearranging the house to accommodate in-laws. Alas, it seems that sometimes our fantasy does not align with reality.
Oh the holidays. The family, the food, the fun, the presents -soon followed by a fear that we are raising entitled children with no appreciation for what they have. Tis the season for showering children with special activities and a mountain of presents, then wondering why they have a meltdown when we say no more. Which makes about as much sense as taking them trick or treating and then wondering why they want to eat the candy.
Got siblings? If you do, I bet you can imagine yourself in the backseat of the car in a heartbeat, remembering the injustice of your brother hogging more of the center armrest. Or was it your sister that always jumped in the front seat before you got to the car. Maybe it was the time your dad pulled over, turned around and said, “Knock it off or I am turning this car around right now!” Takes you right back, doesn’t it? Take a deep breath; it’s okay, you are in the driver’s seat now. But the ride may still be annoying thanks to your own band of munchkins screaming in the back seat.
I remember the moment I realized preschool had become a very big deal. My oldest daughter was about three months old and we were at the first session of a parent-infant class. I was desperate to get out of the house and meet other parents of infants. I walked in and sat down on the mat across from two friendly looking moms. I couldn’t wait to connect, until panic set in when I heard their conversation.