What if I told you there was one word that you can add to your parenting vocabulary that could change the way you talk to your kids and help make you a happier parent? Well, listen up, Mamas, because I’m about to do just that! It’s not a parenting revolution. I won’t pretend it’s life changing. It’s so easy to implement that it takes literally zero brain power. It won’t change your life. But it might make a few minutes of the day a teeny bit easier! And if you’re like me, any simple strategy that might make the day run a little more smoothly is worth trying.
The trick is to add the word “time,” to any directive you want your children to follow. Asking your child to do some coloring, now turns into “art-time,” creating a structure to the day that’s simple for a young child to follow.
Here are a few examples:
Mom A: I’d really like you to come and have a little something to eat now.
Mom B: It’s snack time!
Mom A: Why don’t you go read your books for a little while.
Mom B: It’s reading time!
Mom A: What a mess! Let’s take a few minutes to tidy up.
Mom B: It’s clean-up time!
Remove the Wiggle Room:
See what we’re doing here? We are removing the question from the equation. We are removing ourselves from the equation as well – it’s no longer something you’re asking your child to do, it’s a broader statement that gives the impression that there’s less wiggle room.
Allow Child to Decide:
Kids are happiest when they have a say in how things are going to go. You can still give your child a hand in the decision making process. For example, after declaring that it is “playtime,” you might ask your child if he or she wants to play in her room or in the playroom. This is giving them freedom to decide, within a set of clear boundaries.
Implement a Routine:
There’s routine in things that end in “-time” – think bedtime, dinnertime. So what about implementing “reading time” before bed, “outdoor time” after lunch, or “Have a little playtime before we go upstairs.”
Don’t you just love learning a new strategy that can make life a little easier! Next time you’re asking your kids to do something, try this simple technique and let me know how it goes!
And don’t forget to take a little ME-time!