About now, midway through your children’s summer break from school with another long holiday weekend approaching, maybe it is time to take a break from your own frustration as a parent. Attempting to get your children to help you and do their chores, limiting their screen time and time hanging out with friends has been a daily chore for you. You are angry and they are resentful.
How about finding ways to be positive and tell them they are loved?
First of all, just breathe — in through your nose, expand your lungs, and slowly breathe out through your mouth as many times as it takes for you to calm yourself. Besides, this is good for your own health.
Then, find ways to love your children and tell them so. On her website — https://afineparent.com/positive-parenting-faq/101-simple-ways-to-love-your-child.html — Sumitha Bhandarkar shares easy ways you can do so.
Sumitha suggests when your children are being annoying, say “I love you so much, but sometimes you drive me up the wall” or “I’m so annoyed and I can see you are upset, too. Do you think we can hug it out of each other?” Maybe just take time from each other — “I don’t like the direction this is taking. I love you and don’t want to go there. Reset?” Both of you need some space — “I see you need some space right now. I will be outside if you want to discuss this …”
When they are frustrated or upset, “Do you want to talk it out with me to see if you can figure a way?” How about “I know it looks like things are nasty right now, but you will always have us. We will always love you and you will always be our angel no matter what.”
When they are tired, “You look beat. Can I help in some way? Maybe we can work on a different time for you to help with the laundry.” Or, “You look stressed. Do you want to just hang out and watch movies all weekend this weekend?”
When you are tired or stressed, “I really love doing things with you, but I am too stressed about what I still need to do. Could you help me or read to me while I finish up my work?” Or “I am very stressed right now and it was wrong of me to take it out on you. I am so sorry. Will you please give me a few minutes to calm down and then we can figure out how to fix this?”
When your children are being disrespectful or making fun of other cultures or people of color, remember you are the model. Teach them to love other human beings also by accepting their ways and traditions.
Above all, show your children love. Learn sign language together to sign “I love you.” Develop a secret code for saying “I love you” in public.
Above all, love them to the moon and back, the moon that was in last week’s Kid Scoop.
Share some family love on the Fourth of July.
Southern Arizona resident Bette Mroz is a former teacher, reading specialist and principal. As a mother and grandmother, she continues to help her family learn. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org