Want to hear a foolproof parenting hack for whiney kids?
Okay, just promise not to tell my kids, I don’t want them using this against me later on.
When I realize one of my kiddos has been acting out for a couple of days, or just seems extra whiney for no obvious reason (too much sugar, food dyes, sickness, late bedtimes, etc.), I always pull them aside and talk over a treat.
This week my 6-year-old and I snuck 10 minutes together on the deck to enjoy Ikea cinnamon rolls. 10 minutes… Soak that in.
The rest of the house kept the normal chaos, while the deck was a peaceful retreat for just the two of us, well, plus Nora, our sweet Golden Retriever. Someone had to clean up the crumbs.
When we have these little heart-to-heart moments, I don’t bring up anything about their behavior, we just spend time together.
Oh, and I listen, a lot.
Truth be told, I know in my heart that it’s usually my busyness that is bothering them and causing them to act a little “extra” to get my attention.
You’ve heard me say it before, I tend to get over involved in big projects and am a recovering workaholic in my social media work.
I’m telling you this because I want you to know that this means I often forget to prioritize the relationships within my home. I feel so ashamed with sharing that truth, but I think if it helps even one momma (or papa) that struggles with over-working to refocus themselves and put their family first, it’s worth sharing here.
I had been doing good since Lent when I intentionally passed many clients on to others, quit editing pictures/videos, and went super low-key in terms of blogging and social media usage. Don’t laugh, when you’ve been blogging for over 10 years it is a huge deal to take a social media hiatus (especially when that comes with loss of income).
Anyway, my point here is if you are like me and notice the people around you needing a little extra attention, take 10 freaking minutes and give it to them. Listen well. They’re worth it. YOU are worth it too.
Here’s the deal, 40 years from today I will be 73 years old, with children ranging from 42-56 years old. I’m going to bet that literally no one in the world will care that I successfully launched a tiny local business or two into the social media world or promoted big and small events, even if they were for some honorable charity… BUT my kids will still be talking about the character of their mother, and I have to believe that what I do today will transform who they become.
So, I’m going to keep taking extra time to spoil my kiddos with extra attention to combat their “extra” attitudes.
I challenge you to do the same with the people in your life that are either clearly craving attention, or kinda getting on your nerves. When we slow down to listen, truly listen, we can be surprised by what there is to hear.