I am a real mom, just like you, trying hard to raise the best kids I can and to become the best version of myself in the process. Constantly wishing for parenting do-overs got old really fast, and I knew I wanted to be raising my kids and running my household in a way that felt like we were a team.
I have found that strong boundaries, clear expectations, and a ton of love create an environment in my home that feels good to everyone involved. My kids know how much we love them, but also that we won’t stand for disrespect. Here are a few simple ways we have made this a reality. Here is How To Get The Most Out Of Motherhood.
Transition Tactics: Everything takes longer than you think!
I have to give my husband kuddos for this one! I typically run the morning show in our home in terms of breakfast, packing lunches, signing forms, and filling water bottles with the kids at 7:00 and out the door by 7:30. The year always starts off great, but a few months in and everyone is lagging downstairs around 7:10 and it is a mad dash to get out the door on time.
I went on a girls’ trip once and I came home to find out that my husband had the boys downstairs at 6:50, and out the door at 7:20, and there was never a mad dash. I decided to try it, and loved it! Instead of shoveling a waffle with sunbutter down my mouth walking out the door I actually sat down with my kids for a few minutes and ate. We began the day feeling calm and connected.
This ten minute rule began to spill over into other areas of our lives. I find that one of my kids isn’t great with transitions if he is rushed. If I make sure that he has a ten minute warning that we have to leave the house he can mentally prepare for our departure and it goes much smoother. I also found that starting the kids’ bedtime routine ten minutes earlier means lights go out when I actually want them to.
Since the flow of the household starts with my attitude and preparation, I have found that the more time and space I give myself to eliminate the feeling of rushing, which leads to anxiety and stress, the better mood I am in. The better mood I am in the better and I can deal with unexpected emergencies, sibling bickering, and my to-do list. Ten minutes can really make all the difference!
The Best Way to Get Your Kid’s Attention: Because yelling doesn’t work!
There are three steps in this magic formula for success:
1. Make eye contact when you ask your kids to do something
Yelling at your kids from the kitchen that it’s time to get shoes on while their eyes are glued to the television is simply not going to end well. Taking the extra step to get in front of your kids and look them in the eye when you are speaking to them will really pay off and cut down on frustration on both ends.
2. Have them repeat back the request
This has really been a game changer with my own kids because it totally cuts out the excuse, “ I didn’t hear you” out of the picture.
When I ask my kids to do something I have them immediately repeat back what I need them to do. If I say, “We are leaving in ten minutes please put on your shoes,” they must repeat back to me, “We are leaving in two minutes and we have to get our shoes on.” If I can tell they are not 100 percent with me, I will ask them, “What is happening in ten minutes?” They say, “We are leaving.” I ask, “What do you need to do?” They answer, “Put on our shoes.” It sounds excessive but it works like magic. I am crystal clear about my expectations and then I allow them the space to follow through.
Yelling makes me feel like a crappy mom, and it ends up sounding like Charlie Brown’s teacher to my kids. For some reason when I talk quietly they hang on every word, and it helps keep me calm even in frustrating situations.
Get Your Kids on Your Team: Works every time
When my kids were young they heard many a mommy motivational speech begin with, “Hey guys, I need you on my team. You ready?”
I do not suggest doing this with older kids, but younger ones still want to please you and have fun with you. Accomplishing tasks as a team allows for collaboration and creates opportunities to work side by side with your kids. A team mentality is super helpful when it comes to
- making dinner
- setting the table,
- during travel
- heading out the door,
- doing chores
These things need to get done, so the choice becomes will it be miserable or fun to do together as a team?