Are you tired of asking your kids to do the same things 100 times? And arguing about it all along the way!?
I honestly could not even guess how many times I ask my daughter to put away her laundry from the time it is dry to the time it is actually folded and put away. EVERY SINGLE time clothes need to be washed, we battle for a few days about getting them put away. I REFUSE to do it for her. She is a wonderful, capable and strong willed child. I am determined to do everything in my power to help her become a productive person.
I am sharing this story because I know I am not alone. One of the moms in our Raising Moms Facebook group asked a questions about helping motivate her kids to get their schoolwork and chores done.
As a mother, of a wonderful and kind hearted daughter, some days it amazes me how much we struggle to get things done. I have learned a lot. I am far from perfect. I am not here to boast and tell you I have it figured out. But along the way I have figured out a few things that work for us. I want to share with you what I have learned that helps my daughter get things (school work, chores etc.) done a bit quicker and with less resistance.
It's never about motivation
I used to think that we need to work on finding better ways to motivate ourselves. But after many hours of searching for motivation in different areas of life, I realized focusing on motivation never really helped. As a parent, I have to believe the same is true for our kids.
Honestly, I am NEVER “motivated” to do laundry or the dishes. So to try to motivate kids to get their school work done or pick up after themselves just isn’t going to happen.
So what do we do?!
We focus on reality. Sometimes, there are tasks we must do because it is part of life. They are part of growing and becoming a successful person, or help us feel better because we don’t want to live in a mess.
Instead of searching for (and waiting for) motivation we need to focus on being proactive. Here is what I mean…
- Doing dishes after dinner instead of waiting because it doesn't feel good to wake up to a dirty kitchen in the morning
- Washing clothes and putting them away one load at a time because having multiple loads to do feels stressful and overwhelming
- Drinking water because we don’t like feeling dehydrated and tired
- Going to bed at a time that allows for enough sleep because being tired is unproductive and makes us grumpy
- Eating nourishing foods because junky foods make us tired and not feel our best
These are just a few examples. Start noticing what you do as an adult “because you have to” and think about what getting that task done helps you with proactively.
Question the reason for resistance
There is always a reason!
We may not be able to identify where the resistance is coming from immediately. And at times we are not able to relate and understand it, BUT there is always something that is causing the resistance.
In my experience it is most often stress, overwhelm or lack of understanding. You know that feeling when you have a ton to get done, and find yourself scrolling the internet, watching a show or well just about everything except what needs to get done? Yep, kids experience this as well.
Kids are young humans, but they are not small adults. We need to be careful not to expect them to have the tools and experience we do. Being able to identify and process where our emotions come from (and what they lead to) is a learned skill that I believe we are always working on.
As we are able to identify the resistance, together we begin to make progress. In the moment, it might not feel like it (I say this from experience). I get it. STICK WITH IT! Over time, with continued and consistent acknowledgement of the resistant feelings there will be progress. It might be slow. Don’t expect an immediate change overnight. But the shift starts and with consistency, together you will progress with your child.
Our energy is contagious
That moment when you walk into a room that two people are in and without anyone saying anything you can tell something is wrong. You don’t know what it is, but you begin to feel a little down. You don’t really know what to say or how to act because they aren’t telling you what is going on. All you know is that you are feeling something negative and uncomfortable.
We don’t have to tell our kids everything that is going on for them to feel our stress. When times are stressful, we can act like we are ok. But if we are truly feeling stressed, the people around us (especially our kids) feel it too. When it comes to kids, they aren’t able to identify what doesn’t feel good or why. Kids absorb the energy and it affects their behavior but they typically aren’t able to understand where it is coming from.
We must be aware and in tune with our own energy and the energy of the people around us so we can educate our kids in a way that allows them to begin to learn about energy. This gives them a powerful tool to begin understanding how we are affected by the people around us.
Let's take action
I truly hope that sharing with you what I have learned to help my daughter get things tasks done a bit quicker and with less resistance is going to support you and your family.
Comment below letting me know which these you can start working on TODAY and which task you know you want to work on with your kids.