We all have those days, times, and moments in parenting when things go off course from where we want to be. Trying to balance kids, school, friends, church activities, soccer games, work, and more can really put a strain on a family’s sense of connection and unity. Big feelings turns into tantrums. Jealousies become mean words. Sibling bickering turns into a battlefield in the living room. Parental patience wanes. We’ve all been there at some point. And with this chaos, we become disconnected from each other. So the question is: “What do we do?”
We all need a second chance sometimes. So do our little ones with big feelings they don’t always know how to handle. The option to “re-do” is the opportunity to course-correct a not so great choice, action, or behavior. This can be offered by the parents by simply stating: “Would you like to re-do that one?” Other times, the child can request a “re-do” when they recognize their own behavior is not where they want it to be. Sometimes it is the parent asking to re-do their own reactions. We might not always get it right the first time, but a re-do is a compassionate and empathetic way to allow each other to try again.
The Reset Button:
The “Reset Button” is magic. It is also going to be unique to your child and your family. In my home, our “reset button” is laughter. It reconnects us with ourselves quicker than anything else. For this reason, when tensions run high, or jabs become frequent, I know we need more light-hearted playfulness in our lives. If you’re still looking to discover your family’s reset button, look for moments when you feel most connected. Then look for ways that get you there the quickest.
Your child needs you. They may not know how to say it, but big acting out behaviors are a cry for help, attention, and connection. Take time one-on-one with your child doing meaningful activities that will bring you closer together. Then, encourage activities with your children that will help reconnect them with each other. It can be as simple as drawing or reading together, playing a board game or jumping on the tramp. The point is to refill their buckets with positivity and love.
Sometimes in the heat of the moment, or when we’re on the front lines of parenting, we forget that we have options. We don’t have to react though; we can pause, take our time, and respond in ways that will lead to more positive outcomes. Next time, try using these three simple steps to help you either stay connected, or reconnect with your children in a meaningful way.