This sounds silly but seriously...try it.
Feel guilty? Had a fight? Wish you could make things right with your child but:
Child Whispering is a-maz-ing. It goes like this:
You sneak tippy toe into your child's room while they are asleep. You stand near their bed, close enough where you can see them. You put your hands on your heart (OK, that's not necessary, but darn if you won't feel way more heart-felt and connected if do) and you speak, softly, whisperingly, sweet words like:
"I'm so sorry. I love you. I wish I had done things differently, but I was frustrated. I want you to know how much I care. You mean so much to me. When you wake up, I want you to feel amazing. I want you to feel loved. I want you to feel connected. I want you to feel like the world is a beautiful place. You are adored."
Whisper until you feel peace. Whisper until you have tears streaming down your face. Whisper until you are done, in whatever way that looks and feels for you. Then sneak out.
Don't wake them up!
Go to bed and wake up to the miracle of morning. You will be amazed.
Also, be kind to yourself. You are doing your best and sometimes parenting is hard.
If you have people living under your roof who text, try creating a texting group and labeling it as a notes thread.
Whatever you want to call it.
Since it is a separate group message that texting thread can be silenced. Now anyone can message the group day or night without it creating noise or immediate disruption.
"Please remember to replace the toilet paper if you are the last to use it."
"I moved this thing over here if you are looking for it.'
"Cleaning out the fridge on Friday. You have been warned. ;)"
Having great, clear communication about living together makes things easier but having a way to communicate that doesn't turn a regular texting thread into an annoyance, something to ignore, or something to silence?
That's an awesome use of technology.
You could use a bulletin board or white board in the hallway of course, but if no one reads it or posts on it, it doesn't work. With texting you might see better results since you have a history of what was said by whom when, you can communicate from anywhere at any time, and you can lighten up the messages with some emoji or gifs.
Even housework is easier with a laugh.
You might find that asking people to change the toilet paper roll might not be what is causing the eye rolling. Interrupting someone while they are doing something fun, relaxing, or concentrating on something else to talk about an icky job might be.
Just make sure you tell them the goal of the text thread is a happier house with less nagging, not more chores. That might make all the difference. ;)
I'm a mom and sometimes... sometimes... I lose my cool.
(Really? Nah. Oh yes, it's true.)
The biggest challenge I have found when I'm irritated is that as an extrovert I tend to vocalize when I'm upset. This really, REALLY, doesn't work with kids. No child thrives in a nagging, negative environment. Heck, no adult does either, but at least the adult can walk away and go to a movie or something. That little kid who is just getting more upset and acting out because of the icky vibes will be with you all day. Like right with you. Probably even while you are trying to go into the bathroom and shut the door.
When you have an adult roommate or you live in an open office environment you can usually put up a hand and the person will back away lest they upset the tiger. Little kids? Not so much. They probably forget you are in a terrible mood. They might remember for... say... 30 seconds.
So one day years ago, after realizing the old adage again was true–if you can't say something nice... I had an inspired idea.
What if I put a sticker on my mouth?
That way I would not talk from my non-heart place, and the kids had a visual when they looked at me to remind them that Mommy was not in a good place to be talking to.
Not only did it stop the stem of unnecessary nagging and negative commentary from me, it stopped questions from them which would open the floodgate of nagging and unnecessary negative commentary from me. With this small measure of peace, peace began to descend. Or maybe I just got a chance to breathe through my nose and calm down. One thing happened that was unexpected, though.
It eventually made us laugh.
It's hard to stay mad with a sticker on your mouth. Try it. My favorite stickers are the ones from Trader Joe's. I also like their bacon.
Sometimes big cures and wide-sweeping change comes in tiny packages.
This one is only 3 seconds big.
I'm a talker. If you are like me your mouth opens instantaneously. When I'm in a good mood the Mouth is lovely.
"You're awesome!" "Thanks so much!" "Hey, I love you!"
But when I'm not in a good mood the Mouth is not so nice...
"No!" "You're making a mess!" "You can get more paper only if you clean it up."
Living with a bad Mouth can make anyone tense.
(Have you ever tried to NOT make a mess when you were tense? Have you ever tried to NOT forget something when you are tense? It's a set-up that readers can see from page one. You know the main character is going to get it in the end. Or your kids, and that's no fun for anyone.)
Not wanting to put up with my own Mouth anymore, I tried to fix it.
I tried to only say nice things. I tried to get more sleep. I tried many, many, many things but they only made me feel worse because they centered on the fact that I'm not always as nice to my kids as I want to be. :(
But even worse, they didn't work.
So I looked at the problem from a new perspective. Instead of trying to fix it so that I'm always in a good mood or always thinking nice thoughts (tall mountain to climb, ya think?) I realized that it doesn't matter if I'm tired, it doesn't matter if I'm cranky, it matters what I say.
So one day I decided to add 3 seconds - just 3 seconds - of silence before I answered a question, said anything or opened my mouth.
This small thing changed my life. It changed my kid's lives.
Instead of knee-jerk "no's" or stress-induced "nagging" I made conscious choices before I spoke. I could say, "Let me think about that one for a moment before I give you my answer". Or I could simply clean up the spilled water without a fuss.
Noticeably and quickly the atmosphere in the house rose but do you know what else happened?
I was in a much better mood and I thought much nicer thoughts! Ha!
The best part yet: it was so easy to implement compared to "fixing" myself. I didn't have to change me. I didn't have to become a better person. I just had to add 3 seconds.
Copyright 2005-2019 ReallyGoodLife.com