So you’re ready, willing, and able to effect some changes in your family. You want more harmony, more serenity, MORE HUGS! Change can be scary but these tips will help you ride the wave of change to happy and successful conclusion:
1. Change must be gentle. Don’t withhold love just because you’re setting limits. At the same time, some pain will often accompany even minor changes. Think of it this way: aren’t you already in pain?? Don’t let fear immobilize you.
2. Change must be ongoing. At their core, kids require consistency, and they are constantly (and, often, unconsciously) looking for it. At the same time, one of the paradoxes of growing up is that kids test the limits all the time! But testing is nothing compared to the danger your child is in if you give up.
Teens are programmed to look for inconsistencies. Their brains get a “jump” when you “drop the ball.” Expect them to test you (you already know that, don’t you?). The reason they test you is to make sure that home is still there when they are done exploring.
3. Effective consequences both hurt and help. As a parent, it is common to feel pained by having to restrict your children’s freedom. Your children will likely let you know how horrible you are and how horrible they feel. That is part of the process. On the other side of that is true freedom – for you, the knowledge that you are helping to create a healthy adult; for your child, the knowledge that their world makes sense.
4. Your behavioral expectations are informed by the culture of your family and by your children’s unique needs. Some kids will need much more supervision than others. At the same time, you can create many expectations that serve everyone. If your children are worried about “fairness” know that you create “fairness” by identifying and championing those behaviors that promote the emotional and physical well-being of your family.
5. Develop and practice effective communication skills. This combines clear language with openhearted connection. It’s a win-win for you and your family. Check out How To Train Your Parents in 6 1/2 Days for great communication
Copyright 2017 Yafa Luria/Margit Crane All Rights Reserved
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