It’s the start of a brand new year and people are busy making plans for CNY, holidays, as well as setting new year resolutions.
I was inspired to write this post as I’m trying to be more mindful about my parenting this year. This includes being more careful with what I say, and what I do.
Here are two mantras I hope to be more intentional in teaching the kids, and using it with them this year.
1. “There is a time for everything”
I first heard this statement being used by a psychologist friend. Her niece was whining about not being able to play for a longer time.
In response, she said simply, “Remember, there is a time for everything. You’ll still get to play with your friends next time.”
Now that school has started, and our schedules need to be tighter, we are trying to keep to an early bedtime of 8.30pm.
This means that in the evening, when the kids are busy playing a game or reading a book, the activity sometimes needs to be cut short.
I hope to use teach them this mantra this year, and use it consistently, whenever we are preparing for a transition. It will hopefully help them to overcome the disappointment of having to end their play-time, and go to bed in a happier mood.
2. “Turn your unhappiness into a request”
Just the other day, I was feeling a little upset at my hubby for a minor thing. I lapsed into a usual complaint routine where I express my irritation at him.
After the event, I realised how unpleasant I sounded, and it hit me then, how I could have made the situation more bearable by turning my unhappiness into a request.
For example, instead of going, “Why didn’t you do _________?” I’m going to say:
- “I feel upset when you don’t _______(using the I-statement to avoid blaming the other person).
- Next time, can you _______?”
Now doesn’t that sound more palatable than a rant?
Sometimes the kids tend to grumble or throw a tantrum when something doesn’t go their way. This is when I’m hoping this phrase will come in handy and remind them to turn the upset feeling into a request. Of course, I’m not promising that every request will be met with a “yes”. But at least I would consider it and if it’s practical and doable, then why not make it a “yes”?
To teach them these mantras:
- I will choose a time when everyone is calm and ready to listen.
- I will write the statement down on a white board (keeping things visual helps for young children)
- I will ask them how they’d feel if someone else communicated their desires and needs in such a way.
It will take time and repetition, for sure. But I hope these two phrases will provide us with some handles to better manage the school year ahead.
If you have other ideas and mantras that you’ve heard of, would you share them with me by leaving a comment? Thank you and blessed new year!