Parents have questioned the necessity to continually giving orders to their children in trying to meet time pressure of school and society, such as: “brush your teeth”, “Put on your clothes”, “eat your breakfast”, “hurry up”, “get in the car”, buckle your seat belt” and on and on. As parents, these are phrases we often repeat every day and one has ever told us how to make this fun rather than a robotic necessity.
So, what can make it better? Mary Poppins is a perfect example of how to turn boring tasks into smiling activities and fun games.
However, singing at breakfast and dancing in the rain, is not necessarily what everyone is ready to do first thing in the morning, but the concept is vitally important!
Cooperation and a feeling of teamwork develops more easily when our children are excited about the coming day, rather than dreading or fearing it or even parts of the day. We all need to be looking forward to things in our near future which gives us excitement about life.
The way to do this is to create games and show enthusiasm and joy while doing them! It can be role playing, where the kids get to be the parents sometimes, it can be a competition of who gets dressed first, or it can be point tracking where you get to go to the movies or some other reward, once you’ve scored a certain level of points.
However, we are not saying that rules are not necessary, but create a way that the necessary rules are developed and observed as a team and not with orders from the top down.
Getting out of this trap and developing a new behavioural norm in your family can seem a daunting task and time consuming but you will actually see that you can save time and your communications are more fun and creative. When not spending your time telling your kids what to do; and you have developed an atmosphere of games, your children will begin to figure out ways to do it on their own. After all, games are a natural state of childhood.
It might be hard in the beginning, and you might have to “fake it until you make it”. But, repetition makes for mastery, and your performance will come easier with time!
So, give it a try! Share your successes in the comments for inspiration to others!
If you want to learn more and get instructions on how to get out of the “Parent Trap” and enjoy the process, sign up for our books, courses, individual training, and workshops.