It’s all going well.
The children are engaged, and happy at school.
They are involved with their favourite sports after school.
They are enjoying later nights, and earlier mornings due to the sun being up so early and going down so late at night.
They are into their summer foods, and mostly enjoying each others’ company.
But there are still tears.
I am always taken by surprise at first that the tears are still a thing, when it’s summery and everyone’s happy, but then I remember that I was similar as a child.
It’s about the ‘change’.
It’s about the ‘not-knowing’.
It’s about the ‘easy-whatever-goes’ attitude that seems to come along with summer.
I have two children that just don’t cope so well, when the rules, and routines are, not just changed up, but seem to be changing every single day depending on the weather, or the whim.
I have two kids that prefer it this way. They roll with the punches a bit easier. They can see the benefits in doing something different. It excites them, and it motivates them.
I struggle with it too, so I try and ‘organise’ the relaxed stuff in my mind so that I can cope better. It is rare that something truly spontaneous happens when I’m in charge, as I’ve often run through the multiple scenarios that could happen, and have decided to be okay with all of them just in case.
Of course, kids don’t yet know how to do this, and in fact, are rarely in charge of the activities and changes that happen.
I know that there is a common perception that they just need to ‘get used to it’, or that you should do more surprise stuff to get children used to change, after all, change is just life and we can’t have tears every time there is a change in plan…..?
I’ve found that this doesn’t work.
It creates further anxiety, more neediness, and in the long run more and more tears, and then anger from parents.
As frustrating as it might be for you to have tears in your home for no apparently rational reason, it’s easy to fix if you pay attention to your child.
Happy, and secure kids, have experiences where they feel happy and secure. So if your child doesn’t cope well with change, or a lack of steadfast routine, then YOU give it to them as quickly and easily and early as you can.
Let them know what they need to know, and then leave them to figure it out.
There are tears, particularly when you are new to this, but as your child learns to trust you, and learns that you will pass on any relevant information as quickly as you become aware of it, then they will start to feel more secure and the tears will ease up.
Tears are almost always a reaction to something else that is going on, and when they turn up suddenly and unexpectedly in my house, then I’m pretty quick to evaluate what is going on for my child, and come to some conclusions, and then solutions to make them feel better.
And yes, there are always things that come up that are unexpected.
But first it is about making your child feel happy, and secure that their need to have ‘control’ and ‘rules’ and ‘structure’ in their world is met, and it is ONLY when you have this in place that you can start teaching and showing them about how to cope with the surprises.
Doing it this way works.
And by the beginning of the summer, you’ll be in a much happier place.
You can ABSOLUTELY be the parent that you want to be, it’s just that sometimes the timing of when you work on stuff with your kids needs to be tweaked.
Stephanie Davis is the leading expert in ‘Parenting by Personality’ and coaches mums on how to raise KICKARSE and SUCCESSFUL children at every stage using personality to find solutions to parenting problems – firstname.lastname@example.org