How do those make you feel? Scared into being a more fun mom? Do they add on the mom guilt? That’s just what we need, isn’t it? More mom guilt!
Instead of guilting our way into being the best summer mom social media could imagine- how about we try something else? How about we try living as the kind of mom we choose to be? How about we stick with the science of behavior to help keep the peace in our homes this summer?
Here are just a few examples:
Your child is spending a lot of time on screens this summer. You are feeling the mom guilt about it. Weigh the amount of screen time against your chosen values, or chosen qualities. Is their screen time helping you to be responsible at work? Is their screen time limiting their chances to be helpful around the house? There’s no right or wrong answer. There IS a way to just measure the options against your chosen values.
Choosing things in line with your values makes life more meaningful. It’s more innately reinforcing. It just feels good! That makes it worth it to make small adjustments to your daily choices, routines, activities, or big decisions like travel planning or social commitments.
When it comes to parenting choices, stick with the science of behavior to help make these adjustments.
When a behavior/action/ skill isn’t happening often enough or independently, we do 2 things:
- Increase reinforcement
- Make it easier
You might also need to make it easier for your child to do the skill- whether it’s sharing with a sibling, speaking respectfully, following parents’ directions, using co-regulation skills when upset- you name it! In order to make it easier for your child, think about what part of the task is difficult for your child and find ways to teach that part of it. Break the skill/task down into smaller or more “doable” steps and teach towards the desired goal.
Think of ways you can make the activity more enjoyable, add an earned “reward,” and/or break the skill down into smaller, simpler steps.
Adding these components will help your child be more successful as they learn and grow in their abilities.