Change: Can't Live with It. Life is Full of It.
Ideas for Creating a Change Friendly Family
Giving Time and Effort
They say the only constant in the world is change. Change is difficult for even the most flexible. Parenting is perhaps the one job where change is an inevitable conclusion for which none can be prepared.
The emotions watching a child go from infant to toddler to child to teen can be overwhelming.
Just when you think you got it all figured out and the routines set in place to handle the age they are, they grow and everything changes!
Being prepared ahead of time for the physical changes can help ease (or at least give you a bit of extra time to process) the emotions of happiness, sorrow, joy, and longing that happen as we watch the children grow.
Use these ideas to help ease into the changes and allow for new systems of change, becoming more mindful of the moments along the way as we witness the ever evolving, ever amazing changes in our children and families.
Giving Time and Effort
What happens when your child misbehaves? Do they lose privileges, toys, or electronics? What would it look like if they had to give time or effort to something or someone outside of themselves?
With the plethora of available entertainment available to kids these days, even when we take away their most prized possessions or they lose screen time or a toy, they find other things to do, like picking fights with siblings!
By giving them a consequence that costs them time and effort it teaches them #1- That their behavior cost you time and effort to deal with and that #2 - Their time is worth something to someone else.
In the process they are forced to slow down and think of others outside of themselves.
Depending on age they could:
- Do the dishes or household chores that mom or dad would normally do.
- Wash the family car.
- Make cards for Veterans overseas.
- Hold a lemonade stand to raise money for childhood cancer research or a another local children’s charity.
- Volunteering at a local shelter to hand out food.
- Rake leaves or mow the lawn. Do the same for a neighbor.
- Helping grandparents garden.
- Collect cans for a local charity.
- Read a book to an elderly neighbor.
- Cook a meal for a friend who is ill or recently had a child.
- Go to hospital and volunteer.
There are many opportunities for children to learn and experience empathy, appreciation, and civic responsibility. By using a time and effort consequence, they can learn that they have value in being a helpful member of society and that what they have to give is more important that what you can take away!
- Jeannine Proulx
Jeannine Proulx is an Life Coach, Author, Reiki Master, Singer/Songwriter, Founder of MindfulnessMothers.com, and supporter of Mindfulness Mothers everywhere!
She loves being Aunt Jeannine to her nieces and nephews as well as Miss Jeannine to the children she teaches, cares for and entertains with The Melodies, Heart Centered Stories, and more. Jeannine spends a great deal of her time making crafts and toy shopping for the kids in her life and plays a mean game of peek-a-boo! You can find her online at www.jeannineproulx.com and www.melodies4kids.com