Wednesday, June 25, 2014

World Cup of Parenting

The competition has started.  US vs. Germany.  Maybe you love soccer.  Maybe you haven't watched a day of it in your life until this week.  Whatever it is...the competition and thrill of the game extends around the globe for the sport this month and it's exciting!  I started out rooting for team Italy and my daughter was team Spain, and we're always a team USA household.  We're slowly getting knocked out of this year's cup.  

Do you sometimes feel that way as a parent?  Do you wake up as team Family United and within minutes turn into Family Divided?  It certainly doesn't take much for that sweet morning to take a turn.  A look the wrong way, a busy bathroom, an unclean shirt, overdue name it.  What is important to remember is that family is not a competition.  Struggles within a family should not be competitive.  There is no 'winner', between parent and child.  So try not to win, but know that your children will.  

If you must, you can redefine what winning looks like.  I would view family 'winning' as making sure that my children can function as responsible, independent adults, who can make good choices for themselves.

So, when a field battle is about to begin over what to wear to school, curfew times, eating the 'green stuff on the plate'...try to decide if that struggle is worth it. Give them alternatives.  I have Italy or the US.  Let your child pick something from the closet and you pick something.  Offer 2 curfew choices (they will pick the later one, of course).  Give 2 or 3 healthy food choices before cooking, and involve them in the process.  Or you can say, you have to eat the you want them on Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday?  And...use common sense, kids do not need to have a choice in everything.  You are the parent, BE the parent.

We, as adults like to have choices.  Kids do too.  Empower them, let them feel important.  But remember, you are the coach, manager, and owner.  ;)

Keep it simple...Now Is Our Time (see Team USA below)  ♥D

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