It is the beginning of the school holidays and for some of us this means that we suddenly are spending more time with our children then normal.
But do we really know our children?
We had some jobs and chores to do yesterday, and I realised that I was setting up one of my children for failure.
Firewood is a big deal in our home, we have an amazing fireplace, which heats our water, and has a wetback for our wider household heating, we also have a LOT of overgrown Willow trees growing on our property and there is a percentage of every season, which is dedicated to some form of firewood collection. Normally this becomes a job that hubby does with the kids, but yesterday I was involved too, but I realised something quite profound.
I hated the way that my hubby organised the job, lots of crowding around, completely inefficient, and the stacking was untidy. Knowing that with my Thinking personality I was going to go very quickly from being a normal person to slightly demented, I changed up what I was doing. I decided to get my own wheelbarrow, and move a completely different stack of wood (also a job that needed doing) and stacked my wood (tidily) at the other end of the house. I was much happier!
So, what has this got to do with parenting?
One child was struggling. He was getting angry, frustrated at his siblings, and we were headed for a major meltdown, and most probably him being sent to his bedroom. This is when I finally realised that he was like me. Frustrated at the lack of a plan, annoyed by the inefficiency and no matter how tidy or well he did his part of the job, his siblings just threw wood haphazardly and made a mess.
Knowing the child I have, and finally cottoning on that there was a problem, I called my son over to help me with my system of stacking firewood- instant success. Anger gone, no frustration, working in harmony silently and our side of the stack looks stable and tidy.
My wish for my children to get along, as well as my need for fairness was causing problems in that the way we were insisting it be done went against the child we had. We were causing the problem.
And ultimately, why did we always persevere doing it this way?
We were still being fair as all the kids were still moving and stacking firewood. The job was still getting done, and actually my kids got along better for the rest of the day since they didn’t have residual annoyance with each other from the firewood.
If there is a job or a chore that constantly causes stress, and frustration in your house?
- Have another look at it.
- Decide if there is another way.
- Know your children and play to their strengths.
PS – if you want some help with this I am taking on new clients for my 2 Week Course, and my 6 Week Programme for July and August. Get organised and head into the Spring months really Knowing your Child.