So, how does this work in the real world?
- Part 1 – was about how the parent is feeling and how they can manage their own energy.
- Part 2 – was about how the child is, and identifying their needs.
Now in Part 3 – we try and put it all together.
What often happens is that there is a specific action that our children do again and again that completely drains us of our energy. You may now understand why your child does this again and again, but it’s all about bringing knowing what annoys us, with knowing who our children are, and making these two things work together.
I’ll give you some examples ….
- I am an extremely organised and routined person, and 2 of my children are not. When it comes to putting things away and tidying up, they would do a rushed job (at best) and it would take some nagging and frustration to get the job done at all. Two of my kids, don’t want to be wasting their time tidying up, when it’s just going to get messy again, and they know where everything is anyway. As an organised person, I know that things are easier to find when they are away, and I also know that the world looks more favourably on people who are organised. How I manage this situation is that I make sure that if I ask them to tidy their rooms, or a play area, then I have to be present to help them succeed at this task. I have to give them some basic strategies to help them. Sometimes it means that I just have to be there. Sometimes it means that I instruct one to put away all the cars and the other one to put away the blocks. Sometimes it means that I give them a time limit and go back and check. This job only works if I have the time to follow through. If I’m in a hurry, and don’t ‘help’ them succeed, then I’ll be walking through the house later, and see clothes thrown on their floor, things stuffed in drawers and I get really frustrated……… The good news is that over time, and with practice, this ‘problem’ situation is getting better and it takes less supervision. I feel good because I’m teaching them a skill that doesn’t come naturally, and there is less shouting.
- One of my kids is like me – VERY organised, very ‘judging’ in his personality traits, and really struggles with plans changing. We often have massive tantrums and tears, if something goes against the rules, or against his plan that he’s mapped out for the day. I understand this, however, life isn’t all a straight line, there are curves and bumps and things happen that we haven’t planned. So, even though this goes against my own natural personality preferences, it is still my job to help my child, cope better with the spontaneous stuff, so that the household doesn’t degenerate into a yelling match. I have to recognise that when my child yells in frustration it is coming from a place of pain, not from a place of naughtiness. There is no advantage to shouting back, or getting into an argument. This means that I have to be more proactive with what’s happening around us – if I can’t guarantee something is going to happen, then I don’t give something a timeline. If my child asks me when he’s allowed to go to his friends house, I don’t say ” you can go tomorrow” unless I’ve arranged this. I try not to make throw-off comments, hoping he’ll forget. It won’t happen and I’m setting myself up for frustration.
So, knowing your child’s default personality preferences is a big deal, and knowing the things that drain your own energy also pretty important to identify.
But once you are at this stage – you can see from my examples that there are simple, daily tasks that don’t take too much energy or time, that really do help.
If you want more information on this – I’m happy to talk to you about it.
Or Comment below with a specific situation and I can give you my take on it.