“Be not afraid of growing slowly, be afraid only of standing still.” -Chinese proverb
Why do we always want everything RIGHT NOW?
Changing of any kind takes time.
You have probably heard that it generally takes at least 21 days to create a new habit. That is exactly what you are doing when you are trying to ‘stop’ something. (I heard that from Dr. Phil and thought that was pretty darn true and a clever saying, so I guess I stole it from him!…….oh and by the way, I do not make it a habit to watch Dr. Phil, I just happen to catch him on Good Morning America one day!)
In essence you are creating a new action to replace the old one. That is what creating that ‘pause’ is all about. Replacing that automatic screaming/frustration/sarcasm with something different – and boy does it make a difference, but it is not easy to do.
Change is hard.
Change is slow.
Change is good!
Wouldn’t you rather be struggling to move forward and change negative behavior – both in you and perhaps in your child rather than just standing still?
That is what this quote is all about, not being afraid of allowing slow change to be a good thing AND not get frustrated!
When we continue to do the same things over and over again waiting for something different to happen, we are stalled out!
I cannot tell you how many times I am talking with a mom who seriously thinks that if she just continues to scream for her son to pick up the clothes off of his bedroom floor that it will eventually work.
Listen……I know from personal experience it does not – plus the longer you continue that yelling to curb that pattern YOU dislike, the more damage you are doing. So I will take this example and share with you my thoughts on how I changed my behavior from yelling to doing something different.
Come up with a different solution and try it.
If you can’t handle the clothes on the floor than give your child a choice. Either pick up your clothes by _______ time or _________ this will happen. There are all kinds of solutions to this dilemma and it is up to you to find one that works well for your family.
It could be as simple as “you don’t come out of your room til your clothes are picked up, your choice” (they could end up spending the whole evening in their room, but hey – it was their choice. OR “no screen time until clothes are picked up” or something else.
We have battled this one with one of our kids for a couple years now. I realize that I may not have the ability right now to change his normal tendency to not care about a messy room, but I can set certain expectations for him since it is my house.
So in our home, and this goes for all the kids – if clothes are found on your floor at anytime that you are having screen-time (cell phone, Ipod, Wii, or television) you are automatically removed from all screen time for 30 minutes so you have time to pick up your clothes.
It works really well – and we haven’t had to use it for quite awhile! It becomes something they care about and then spend the necessary time to ensure that it is taken care of. It is a choice, and they are learning to make choices that are better in the end.
And isn’t that what parenting is all about – allowing our children to make mistakes, help them see different options and then allow them to make other choices?
So whatever battle you are facing in your home today, realize that you play a part in that battle. Consider what you can do differently and remember to allow the time to let change happen.
Doing nothing is just ignoring the problem – but doing something – anything – is forward movement.
When it comes to making any sort of lasting change, slower is oftentimes better – so don’t just stand still, push forward with baby steps!
Are you stalled out in an area of your parenting? What can you do differently?
If you need some help to push forward, do not miss my special offering for a rock-bottom price only for subscribers on my “Becoming a Calm, Cool and Confident Mom” package – 30 day intensive to create new habits, ditch old ones once and for all and create harmony within the walls of your house. Due to multiple requests – I have extended registration until midnight at April 17th. I would love to meet you!