The old saying “monkey see, monkey do” can be relative to how parents react to situations. Our reactions can easily be influencing our children without us even realizing it. Parents often feel their kids build new behaviors or habits from their siblings or other kids at school, however, we can be just as responsible.
Parents, try to break these 4 habits…
- You see life as a 24/7 crisis, so freaking out is the most logical response. We know life is full of ups and downs. Most of the time there are always going to be little “hiccups” when going on big trips or even everyday excursions. If you have pets, they are going to get out, get sick, chew something up, throw up a hairball and the list can go on. If we as parents “over react” to every little situation, most likely our kids will too. Sometimes you cannot “sweat the small stuff” otherwise you will always be stressed and never enjoy the great things in life. Kids need to know which situations require immediate attention and why they are pressing, but most situations do not fall in this category. Remember little eyes and ears are always alert even if you don’t think they are.
- You’re a spin doctor, and life’s all unicorns and rainbows. Don’t overdue number 1. Kids have very sensitive radars and pick up changes in your emotions. Make sure they know it is ok to express your emotions and feel sad, angry or disappointed. Just don’t let it control your life and take over. Life will go on and people do push through. That is why a hug or “I love you” can go along way.
- You’re always posing requests as questions. If you put your questions in a form of a request, you give your child the option of not doing it. For example, “Will you pick-up your toys” as opposed to “You need to pick-up your toys before we eat lunch.” Giving children requests in the form of a question and then getting upset when they don’t want to do it sends mixed signals. Often this leads to both of you getting into an argument and then no one is happy.
- You’re a critic, not a coach. Pointing out your child’s ever mistake and not putting enough emphasis on the good things can really backfire. These type of behaviors can not only hurt your child’s confidence, but also cause them to stop listening/respecting feedback and help. Using phrases like, “That was a great job making your bed, may I show you a few tips to make it even better” will go a lot farther than “Good job making your bed, but you missed the corners at the other side.” Kids want to well and make you proud, but can be sensitive especially trying new things.
Be mindful of these 4 habits and most likely you will see a big difference in your child’s behavior toward you and challenging situations.
If you are interested in contacting Brad Fantle for speaking engagements you may reach him by email at email@example.com. He is a 7th Degree Black Belt with Tiger Rock Martial Arts, has 25 years experience working with children and teaching self-defense, an ADHD Coach and has a BA in Sports & Fitness from the University of Alabama