Rainbows & Butterflies

I often hear “I don’t know how you do it!” My whole day is not rainbows and butterflies, but the difference between a really good day and a rough kick me in the shins kind of day most often is due to my attitude towards the day, the children, and every situation I find myself in throughout the day. Here are a couple tips and tricks that help me from losing my mind and actually loving what I do each day.

Give Two Positive Choices

If getting your child ready in the morning is a chaos fest, limit their choices. Children want to have a bit of control, but are often overwhelmed by everything that is involved in getting ready each day. Pick out two possible shirts that you know they like and let them choose. Ask “Are you going to put on undies first, or socks?” “Would you like to walk or hop to the car?” By giving your child 2 positive choices you limit possible power struggles.

Limit Your Reaction

Limit your reaction to their actions.  When your child is doing something that you know is not going to end well ask them “What is your plan here?” This helps them to realize what they are doing may not work out the best way if they don’t start thinking things through. This can be used when you see them bringing out the big bin of legos that always take FOREVER to put away, or when they are climbing up something that may not be completely safe. This helps them to reflect more on the possible outcomes rather than living in the very small moment.

Front Load Your Child

Front load your child with expectations for events.  Are you about to go into a store for a quick stop and you know your child is plotting the fit to end all fits about a toy? Get down on their level and tell them, “We are going into this store for these things. We will not be getting any (toys/candy/etc). You will see those things, but they are not for us to buy on this trip.” Have them repeat it back to you, and do not give in!

Have a Routine

The ritual before bed should be as much about quality time, as it is about the end results. By being consistent with time, and the 3 B’s (bath, books, and bed) you are giving your child the tools they need to be successful. Your child wants to connect with you. One more hug may be them trying to buy for time, or it could be just a few more seconds of some quality moments. Keep it the same each night so they understand what is expected of them and also what they can expect each night.

Give Grace

Give yourself, and your child, some grace.  Parenting these incredible, independent, creative, frustrating, and joyful tiny humans is not for the faint of heart. It is tough, and when you know you have mis stepped, go back and repair. “I really lost my temper and I yelled at you. Next time when I’m feeling angry I’m going to take a deep breath and give myself some space.” This also shows them that people mess up, but we can fix it.

Katie BoothAbout the Author:
Ms. Katie is the
Lead Teacher in
Primary Classroom 1