Parenting: When It’s Not So Positive
We all know “parenting doesn’t come with an instruction book”. There are many places we can go to seek advice. Some of you have “come to order” with your questions about parenting and we would love to answer them!
Q. I am sick of my daughter rolling her eyes at me or stomping her feet when she doesn’t like something I say. How can I talk to her without her being so negative? BL
A. Stomping, slamming doors and rolling eyes are a form of nonverbal communication. She is actually trying to tell you something – but, what? Watch your daughter when she reacts this way. Ask yourself if she is being disrespectful or if her actions are communicating that she is disappointed, angry or feels like she is being criticized. Obviously, the answer doesn’t justify her actions, but understanding her response will help you with yours. I suggest, if it isn’t a problem for you, it isn’t a problem for her. Don’t acknowledge her actions, unless it continues, is projected onto others or occurs in public. Then, communicate that you are aware that you notice that she is hurt or upset sometimes. Ask her, when she is ready to share why she is using negative body language – without suggesting that is what you are asking.
Q. My kids don’t respond when I ask them to help with the dishes or folding laundry. How do I talk to them so they will listen? TW
A. Often, we find ourselves asking questions and offering choices instead of telling our kids what to do. When we ask them to help with the dishes, we are asking them to make a decision – to help or not to help. Especially if kids are too you, not establish limits by offering wise choices. But, be careful not to use fighting commands rather than thinking words. Instead of saying, “Cut the lawn now!” I suggest saying, “I’ll take you to your soccer game as soon as you are done cutting the lawn.”
Q. Even as a pre-teen, my son doesn’t make good choices when it comes to making friends. How can I help him not be influenced negatively by the friends he does have? PP
A. From early in life, we teach our kids to follow our rules and often don’t allow our kids to think for themselves. Every parent does this, it is part of learning to stay safe and follow rules. However, this process of listening and not allowing self-questioning continues when kids begin developing friendships. Often, they will listen to others rather than themselves. Whether your son is an independent thinker or tends to be a follower, I suggest talking to your son about these two things: 1.) Give your son more choices at home, so he is practicing decision—making in a safe environment. 2.) Have small talks from time to time about friendships and the importance of saying “yes” or “no” when it appropriate. Instilling these concepts in him now will only make him stronger when peer pressure and influence hits.
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Kathy Jenkins is the President of Come To Order, a Residential Professional Organizer, Student Organizer, Certified Family Manager Coach, Writer and Speaker based in Richmond, Virginia. She is a member of NAPO and ICD and is dedicated to helping her clients simplify their lives by reducing clutter, organizing their homes and offices, and managing their time. Kathy especially enjoys working with kids and their families to help them learn good organizational skills that will benefit them for a lifetime. Follow Kathy on Facebook.