Kid Whisperer Nation Tip for Parents # 56
BE COMPASSIONATE, SET LIMITS, AND THEN ASK QUESTIONS
(In that exact order.)
When you are compassionate, it calms down the minds of everyone involved, especially you. Then the limit will become at least slightly more palatable. Once the limit is set, never repeat it, but just ask a question to make sure your kid is having to think about the limit:
Kid: I hate this stupid house and this stupid family, stupid.
Parent: Oh, dear.
Kid: What do you mean?
Parent: I talk to kids who are being nice to me.
Kid: You are SO STUPID.
Parent: And what did I say?
Parent walks away.
Kid Whisperer Nation Tip for Parents # 57
PUT YOURSELF FIRST
You may pride yourself as being a parent who can work through anything: you can multitask like nobody’s business. You can drive your kid to a billion activities. You can prepare four different lunches at the same time. You can stay up all night cleaning the house because you have been going “above and beyond” for your family all day.
But, just because you CAN do all of these things, doesn’t mean that you should. You may be destroying yourself in order to live this kind of life. If you don’t take time for yourself, if you don’t create a lifestyle that presents reasonable and healthy limits on others so that it is possible for you to take care of you, then stress will hurt you and your ability to show up for your family and friends.
Kid Whisperer Nation Tip for Parents #58
DO NOT CURATE YOUR KIDS’ LIVES
Your kids will become uncomfortable while learning to do new things. That is the very essence of learning and growing up. It requires having one foot in the known, and one foot in the unknown. Putting that foot in the unknown is inherently uncomfortable. The first time you do something, whether it’s taking a shower, eating a sandwich with crusts on it, or driving a car, there will be discomfort.
It IS your job to be an encouraging, empathetic supporter that requires your kids to do “life stuff” (showers, crust, driving). It IS NOT your job to make sure that your kid is always comfortable. Curating your kids’ lives so that they can avoid these things until they feel great about them tells your kids that you think crusts are too crusty for them, driving is too difficult for them, and that you think moving water is too scary for them. Empathetically requiring kids to be uncomfortable says to your kid, “I love you, you’re tough, and you can do this!”
Kid Whisperer Nation Tip for Parents #59
TEASE YOUR KIDS
There is such a thing as good-natured teasing, and it’s a good idea to show your kids how to do it. It’s the verbal version of rough-and-tumble play: do it with a sense of fun, and stop immediately if someone gets hurt.
Kid Whisperer Nation Tip for Parents #60
TEACH MOVEMENT INEVITABILITY TO LITTLE KIDS
Trying to convince small kids to follow you or to go from one place to the other is a bad move. It is impractical, inefficient, and makes kids think that they should always be allowed to decide if and when they will be going from point A to point B (they shouldn’t and can’t).
Better to give them a choice: “We are going to the car. Would you like to walk or fly?” If they choose walk, they walk. If they choose fly or do or choose ANYTHING besides choosing walk, they fly. Make them fly by carrying them.