Just wanted to share some thoughts for parents this morning, but this is still for you if you ever look after kids, at any time, in any capacity. I hope it helps x
- Be honest with yourself: If you can’t do something, are having a bad day or got mad when you shouldn’t have: Own up! Kids as young as 2 can tell when you’re lying/ are not genuinely ‘fine’ or any other negative emotion. You’ll be doing yourself a favour if you admit it and you’ll be setting them an amazing example. If they shouted at you, you’d expect an apology, so why shouldn’t they get one if you lose it? And admitting that you can’t do everything is hard, but it’ll be harder on your kids if they grow up to be anxious perfectionists because they think you always ‘had it together.’
- If you don’t want kids to hear it, don’t say it: So many times I have heard people say something in hushed tones, about surprises or sensitive information, only for a child to pop up and ask who or what their caregiver is talking about. Unless they’re old enough to have it explained for them, don’t say it! By all means explain it, if appropriate…otherwise, keep it zipped!
- Don’t go back on your word: This is true for both discipline and treats (see Bible Principles Every Child Should Know, How To Avoid Tantrums and Trust and Reward) If you say it, it needs to happen, so think about what you say! If something is really unavoidable, (like a cancelled trip due to illness) then explain to the child why, if it can be rescheduled (and if so, when) and what they can do instead (including helping). Depending on their age, they may still be disappointed, but it also gives them opportunity to be altruistic….they may surprise you. If this way of dealing with changes is commonplace in your home, then they will be less unsettled when disappointments and upsets arise…and also more likely to explain things to you if they have a problem.
Be truthful and explain age-appropriately: Simple but effective rules to live by.
Have a great week!