Would you like to learn how to reduce your ANXIETY, minimize the CONFLICT in your house, and instill more CONFIDENCE and AUTONOMY in your kids?
Fabulous! Try these three strategies…
Tip #1 – Delegate by Grade Level
Surprise! Your child is a YEAR older than they were last year. Crazy right? So, they can probably DO more. They can probably HELP YOU more. They can probably STRETCH themselves a little more, even if it feels uncomfortable. So ask yourself, what did I do for them last year that maybe, just maybe THEY can do THIS year? For instance, maybe they can make their own lunch, email their teacher when they have a problem or a question, create their own homework schedule, wash dishes, or change their sheets once a week. Delegating tasks around self-care, school preparation, and housework can foster independence and instill confidence in your children.
I recommend a % by grade guideline for delegating. For instance, a second-grader can take care of 20% of their own scheduling, lunch planning and preparation, and household responsibilities. (A fifth-grader 50%, a ninth-grader 90%, etc.) When children have a more direct hand in packing lunches or creating their homework schedule, they’re far more likely to eat the lunch and do the homework (and far less likely to complain about it)! Delegating these jobs not only fosters a sense of autonomy and responsibility in your children, it takes a bit of the load off your hands!
#2 Tip – A Self-Awareness Routine
Let’s talk ROUTINES. Honestly, I kinda hate routines. (I don’t like being told what to do…even if it’s ME telling ME what to do.) Some folks LOVE routines. It helps them feel more in control, more safe, and less stressed. Here’s the point, your KIDS are all different too. Some will THRIVE with a set routine and some will fight it tooth and nail. Check in with your kids to help them figure out their own ideal routine.
And PLEASE REMEMBER – you’re the parent who pays the bills, knows more, has more experience, and is responsible for keeping those kiddos safe and healthy and well. YOU get to make the final decision. Seriously, your kids can smell hesitancy a MILE AWAY. Stay strong and remember kids thrive when they feel SAFE and SECURE. If they have a parent who they can boss around, that can be really unsettling psychologically. I’m telling you this not to inflict guilt or judgment (NO WAY!) – only to help give you the confidence and strength you need to stand by your decisions.
Tip #3 – Close the Future Gap
Worry and anxiety flourish and spread when the future feels uncertain or unstable. That potential unknown amplifies our stress- but doesn’t help us to actually control anything, right? So what do we do about it then? How do we release our fear, or our worries about the unknown future? It’s easier said than done for sure.
Here’s what I want you to do – Close the Future Gap. If you’re focused on next month, reset your focus to next week. If you’re worrying about next week, reset your focus on tomorrow, if tomorrow feels too daunting, focus on the next three hours. You, my friend, have survived absolutely everything that has ever happened to you in your entire life. You survived it. You’re here. And there’s a reason you’re reading this at this exact moment. Only focus as far into the future as allows you to fully breath and function with calm and clarity.
When you take a moment to get really clear on what is MOST important to you and your family, it’ll alleviate some of the pressures and anxieties that being a parent can put on you.
You’ve got this. I have faith in you.