"I watch their softly tousled heads slumbering on
their pillows, and sadness wells up in me. Have I drunk in their smiles
and laughter and hugged them, or have I just checked things off my to-do
list today? They're growing so quickly. One morning I may wake up and
one of my girls will be getting married, and I'll worry: Have I played
with them enough? Have I enjoyed the opportunity to be a part of their
lives?" -- Janet Fackrell
It's part of our job description as parents to guide our kids and keep them moving through the daily routine. All too often, that means setting limits, denying requests, correcting behavior. Sometimes we're skillful enough that our child doesn't perceive our guidance as "negative." More often, kids give us the benefit of the doubt because all the other loving, affirming interactions create a positive balance in our relationship account. READ POST
"Dr. Laura....In your last post, you warned
parents against fighting in front of our kids. But as you always say,
we're not perfect, we're human! What are we supposed to do when we
disagree? And isn't it good for kids to see parents work out
disagreements, and make up? And isn't okay if spouses don't always agree
-- we can still love each other."
Yes, Yes, Yes! The nature of human relationships is that we will disagree. It's wonderful for children to see their parents model how to work out disagreements. It's important for them to know that we don't always agree, but we always love each other. And it's critical for kids to see us make up.
That doesn't mean it's okay to yell at each other in front of our kids. The research shows that a disagreement followed by working things through and making up can teach kids valuable lessons about working through conflicts constructively. But the research also shows that yelling always affects kids badly, even if you make up eventually. Yelling is not constructive conflict resolution, ever. It's a tantrum. (And no, it's not "authentic." What's authentic is the tears and fears under the yelling.)
So given that conflicts are inevitable, how can you best handle them when you live with kids?
1. When you or your partner start to get irritated, start by doing exactly what you would do (or hope to do!) if you were irritated with your child – Breathe! Notice your upset. Remind yourself that you love your partner and you can work this out.
2. If you can keep your equilibrium to discuss the issue, do so. Your kids will benefit from watching you: READ POST
"Yesterday my husband and I had an argument at dinner time in front of the kids. My four year old daughter yelled at us to ‘Be quiet!’ … My two year old had a tough time going to bed, which is unusual for him. Could that have had to do with mommy and daddy arguing?” READ POST
"Let there be times when you don't
tell someone everything you know about her problem, even if your
understanding of it is better than hers." - Guy Finley
"Self Esteem comes from feeling capable in the world, as well as from being loved unconditionally." - Ty and Linda Hatfield
Ever notice how kids don't really want to hear your solutions to their problems? Teenagers, particularly, often react with downright hostility when we give them our good advice. That's because they need to see themselves as capable. Every time we tell our child how to handle something, we're implying that he isn't competent enough to figure it out for himself. We're undermining his confidence, which erodes his self-esteem. READ POST
a fantastic evening for me is crashing into my son’s bath with my
clothes on, chasing him around the house with a diaper on my aqua blue
bubble bath covered head, cooking cheap crappy pizza (side of green
beans too, don’t worry), and reading Llama Llama Red Pajama to him.
Pretty much all the same stuff I did when I was single, just now I do
it with my son instead of my date. I used to run around the world
looking for the exact thing I now have sitting in ... my home. " --
If you're like me, you have a long "To Do" list, and at the end of the day you never feel like you've accomplished enough. This is your official reminder that your In Box will never be empty, but your children will grow up. Sooner than you think, you will be the last person they'll want to spend time with. READ POST
"Perfect love sometimes does not come until the first grandchild."- Welsh Proverb
"Instead of focusing on how much you can accomplish, focus on how much you can absolutely love what you’re doing. Be there completely. While doing this, you’ll find that you naturally enjoy those seemingly tedious tasks much more (like washing the dishes). It’s amazing how much non-resistance and presence changes everything.” -- Zen Habits READ POST