You peek into the kitchen around 5pm- Anywheresville, USA. Mom is trying to make dinner. Child #1 is asking Mom the same question over and over and over. Mom answers it patiently over and over and over. Child #2 starts helping their self to a snack. Opening the refrigerator, opening the pantry, pulling things out and making a mess. Mom calmly reminds them that she is making dinner. At this exact moment. It’s not snack time. Mom’s phone buzzes with text messages and group messages and emails from both kids’ school and extracurricular activities. Mom is STILL trying to make dinner.
Child #1 keeps asking the same question. You know- the one Mom already answered. Many times. Many many times. Child #2 is whining about needing a snack now and not making it to dinner. Child #2 starts blaming Mom for their hunger- even though she offered the child a snack during snack time.
Mom is struggling to keep her cool. And it’s pretty clear why. She is counting down the minutes until her partner gets home. She is counting down the minutes until bedtime.
When dinner is finally on the table, will anyone even eat it? Will they eat it without being reminded to eat four hundred times? Can they have a peaceful family dinner without arguing or nagging or whining? Will anyone actually help clear the table and do the dishes without complaints or power struggles?
When Mom finally loses her cool, she raises her voice. She yells. She demands obedience. She argues back. She uses punishments, time outs, threats, you name it. And we can see how it got here. It’s been a rough afternoon/ evening. No wonder Mom loses her cool.
Is there a way Mom can get her family back on track? She doesn’t want to yell or threaten or punish. She wants to be that Hallmark channel mom she’s seen on TV. Is that even possible?
While perfect TV mom should never be our goal, using simple behavior tools can help all of us to keep our cool as moms.
Do you see yourself in this mom in Anywheresville, USA? Some days- absolutely. Do you lose your cool sometimes, too? Yes, of course. Doesn’t everyone? The goal is to find ways to make it easier to keep your cool and have smoother days at home. The goal is to connect with your kids so you can focus on teaching them how to communicate effectively instead of power struggles and whining. The goal is to enjoy this parenting job and form real relationships in your family.
Using simple behavior tools can streamline the routines in your home to save your sanity. Working on building up appropriate communication can replace things like asking the same question for bajillion times or whining at parents incessantly. Filling the kids’ buckets with intentional bursts of one-on-one attention can build relationships while also preventing problem behaviors that are attention seeking. The list goes on and on.
Ready to find ways to keep your cool? Ready to spend more time enjoying your kids? Stick with Parenting with ABA and stay tuned for a fun new group coming soon!