We often have many great ideas to try with our kids – ways in which to support their learning, sensory regulation strategies or executive function habits.
They will then often, in turn, present us with resistance ☺
‘I hate it’, Its stupid’ or ‘you’re not my teacher’ or even: ‘I’m stupid. I can’t do this’ or simple ‘NO!’ may be a common occurrence when parents try to guide. In turn, parents can become more directive and dig their heels in because ‘we know better!’
Hard as it may be, always remember your relationship with your child is what is most important in every aspect of his/her life. Nurture it. This doesn’t mean you give in to their every want. It means though, that you approach their resistance with curiosity and assume there is more to the story. It means you adapt your guiding strategy to that of being collaborative as opposed to authoritative and forceful. Our kids are wired to resist hidden agendas and attempts at coercion. We need to get beside them and go on a journey with them.
Here are a few potential action points you can employ when you come up to resistance from your kids:
Instead say something like: ‘I know. This is so hard’. Then say nothing. Match your words with non-verbal cues – a soft voice, caring eyes, a gentle touch.
Reasoning, justifying, correcting or lecturing simply will not restore cooperation. Instead it will add to the frustration and overwhelm. Don’t feed the cycle. Come in low, slow, and calm. This IS hard for them…and you.
Edge plus 1 = SUPER productive.
Edge plus 10 = meltdown and breach of trust between the two of you.
Play a game of hide-and-seek as a family. Set up the rules so it suits the ages of your children. A parent might team up with a younger child, or a child with fears about hiding alone. A good way to connect everyone is to say that each person that the finder finds, helps to look for the rest of the family members. So there is a growing group of seekers. You may want to determine other rules like, the first to be found becomes ‘it’, everyone can run to base to avoid being ‘it’, determine physical boundaries e.g. you play in one room or the whole house or only outside. The opportunities are endless.
The aim is laugh, have fun, work together and move together!
Give yourself time today to stare out the window at something beautiful. Imagine that your brain is getting off the highway to enjoy a more scenic side road.