As the Summer holidays are now in full swing, with only just over 2 weeks left, I’m hearing a lot of…”When do they go back?”. I get it I really do, as a Mum of a 16 year old and 10 year old, it’s not as challenging for me as it used to be with young children(although mentally very challenging with a 16 year old, that’s another blog!). My personal challenge has been working around the Summer break, my 10 year old has at times had to find her own entertainment, I’ve had pangs of guilt, but then actually had a think about it……..back in the day (I was a child of the 80’s), my parents didn’t have to entertain me, I had a bike, roller skates (the ones you used to tie on your feet lol!), a tennis racket (hitting the ball continuously against the side of the house until someone in the house could bear it no more, then the familiar dulcet tones of my Mum or Dad would shrill, “Amanda, will you stop that bloody noise!!!”), the comforting sounds of children running around in the street shouting “Dub, dub in!”, the ever stop, starting game of Curbsy when a car was coming down the street. We would play for hours, loads of us until one by one, you were shouted in and called, a grubby urchin by our parents, only having been in to be fed and watered…..we learnt to self regulate, dealing with conflict, nastiness, fun, laughter, exclusion at times, all in one day.
How different it is now……I wouldn’t dream of letting my children play on the street, we live on a very busy main route into Exmouth Town and Seafront, and the way people drive now, too fast and too aggressively, I couldn’t contemplate allowing them to play out there. If you are lucky enough to have a street, cul de sac…where they can play, are they savvy enough to know how to handle strangers talking to them?
They are the social media generation, and that has taken away from being able to just…….be, to just……play, to just…..read a book, to play with toys….on their own, to fall out with friends……and handle it themselves, to not need money……why would they with all they have? to not want……MORE!
So how do we have a happy medium, keeping the children stimulated and not having to be constantly entertained:
You don’t HAVE to take them out every day
Remind them of the toys, puzzles, books they have
Ban electronic devices for a few days (you don’t learn about self regulating on those!)
Have their friends round, have a fruit bowl at the ready, jugs of squash in the fridge
Tell them that whatever they get out they tidy away before getting something else out (my Mum was a stickler for that, a tidy house a tidy mind, also cuts down on the overwhelming amount of stuff out, a child will find it hard to focus on just one thing, becoming easily distracted).
Rainy days….drawing, making…parent supervision maybe required, but let them get on with it to a certain extent, let them learn if they spill anything, they clear it up, they break anything, they save their pennies to replace……
Snuggle up to a film together
Go on a bike ride and take snacks and drinks with you, warning them that they ARE NOT to ask for ANYTHING whilst out, otherwise you simply won’t go
Teach them to do as they are told, what are the consequences if they don’t , privileges removed? Agreed treat taken back, time out. REMEMBER what ever you say your are going to do STICK WITH IT!!
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy focuses on a challenging area of your life, giving your brain a workout, reprogramming how to think differently, positively.
Make a list at the end of summer:
What would you do better next summer, what did you do well, what did the children enjoy, not enjoy……how can we all enjoy the time we have together?
Working parents, it’s a juggling act, but there are some wonderful camps out there, remind them if they are moaning as you are dropping them off, how bloody lucky they are to being given this experience.
We need to teach our children the value of money, make them earn their ice cream, or money to buy it, they’ll soon realise that money goes very quickly and they won’t want the most expensive cone with two scoops, if they do they will have no money left. We’ve done this with our children and it makes me laugh when they say “…but if I buy this, I can’t do this….?”, my response “Yep that’s right, so what are YOU going to do?”. Both my girls are very tight with their money, and I can see a change in them when they are just given it and haven’t earned it, their sensible heads turn off.
My lovely friend Emma has started a blog, The Hopeful Mum. She’s had a few weeks of ungratefulness and is on zero tolerance now, so she is sharing her experiences through a blog. It’s very funny in places, but it does let others know that you are not alone.
Some of you may think my suggestions just won’t work or maybe a bit harsh? But remember if you go through a little pain now, long term they will know you mean business, time to stop feeling guilty and start parenting, bringing up the best human beings we can.
If you want more information about life coaching children through CBT, please do contact me, we can together draw up behavioural plans, and with little steps, start re-programming how you think as a parent and how they think as a grateful, well adjusted, self regulated child.
Love and Warmth to you all, good luck xxxx
Amanda 07920 840 230
#parenting #self-regulated #behaviour #CBT #NLP #Lifecoaching