Do you ever feel like you “bark” orders at your children. “Do this, do that, do this, do that?” And they JUST DON’T DO WHAT YOU ASK!
I never thought I did, but I have noticed that when my children don’t listen to me, I tend to start “nagging” with multiple things.
My son gets very OVERWHELMED when I give him many directions at a time. It just happens. When they don’t do it, I get very ANNOYED so I KEEP ASKING and sometimes add something else I realize needs to be done. We all know that doesn’t help the situation right?!
On cleaning days, I write a list of what I need the kids to do. It is SO HELPFUL!!!! They go through it on their own, cross everything off, and I often do a check of each thing! During this time, I can FOCUS on what I need to do, they do what they need to do, there is NO ASKING multiple times and EVERYTHING gets done EASILY, CALMLY, and EFFICIENTLY.
I WISH this was the case EVERY SINGLE time. Yet, I don’t make lists for everything! I have noticed that when I don’t, and I need the kids to do some things after school, after dinner, or just in the moment I give them multiple directions at a time. My daughter seems to handle it just fine! My son, on the other hand, doesn’t! He gets so overwhelmed, which turns into FRUSTRATION and sometimes TEARS. He has asked me several times to “work on that”. I do and I FORGET!
I should know this. I have been a teacher since 1995. Not all kids can handle multi-step directions. If I use multi-step directions in the classroom I write them down so they can see them. That is why this works at home on cleaning days. And to be honest, it isn’t convenient to write directions down EVERY SINGLE time I need something done.
The other night, it was time for bedtime and I told my son to go get ready for bed so we can read. Then I looked at the dinner table and remembered it was his job to clear. So I said, “Buddy I need you to clear the table.” Yep, that EXPLODED the VOLCANO. He said, “This is too much. I told you to work on this, you are telling me too many things to do at once.” He was ABSOLUTELY right! I WAS.
So I looked at him and said, “You are right. Please go get your PJ’s on.”
When he came upstairs after getting his PJ’s on, I said, “Please clear the table.” He did it.
Then I said, “Please get your dessert so we can read.” And he did.
It worked so well! Just saying one thing at a time was so much more PLEASANT and BENEFICIAL for us all! He did what needed to be done, I didn’t have to REPEAT myself and we were sitting and reading in no time!
I need to be much more CONSCIOUS when I need things done and just ask one thing at a time.
Will I FORGET? Heck yes I will! Will my 8 year old REMIND me? Yes he will! That is totally fine! The reminders will help and soon it will be something I do without even thinking about it.
In a family, we all have our STRUGGLES, our NUANCES that frustrate others and create HAVOC. How wonderful for us to feel COMFORTABLE and CONFIDENT to tell each other what we each need to work on to make our family run much more SMOOTH and JOYFUL! What important skills for us all to have and practice.
Our family isn’t perfect. It never will be! And we can make it the best we can by LEARNING, ADJUSTING, and CHANGING a PATTERN or BEHAVIOR that brings more JOY instead of ANGER.
Don’t you want more JOY in your FAMILY then FRUSTRATION, ANGER and STRESS?
Living in DAILY JOY,
For 5 FREE Self-Care Tips, join my email list here.