Due to the often time hectic schedule family members of different ages have during the 'school/ work' week, a family home may appear like a working village with people coming in and going out. Family life can be reduced to a set of fleeting moments if you over schedule your kids in activities, come home from work late routinely, or are home, but busy. If this is happening in your family dynamic, be on guard. Repeat this enough and kids move on a continuum towards indifference, apathy, and resentment. Nobody wants that. The kid certainly doesn't either. It is true that work has to be done, bills have to be paid, meetings have to be kept, and sometimes we have to work late, yet carving out time in our busy schedules to come together as a family is a metric we cannot afford to do without.
Indifference, and later apathy WITH resentment, settle themselves down in any home that does not exercise the constant foresight in heading off this work/family balancing conundrum. Kids become more distant from parents when this happens. It takes longer for them to warm up to you, they may even express how they feel in not so great ways. This may go on for days, weeks, or years, unless you are able to bring in a counter mindset that shifts the dynamic. All this can be changed easily. But time is of the essence.
Start by identifying your next window of opportunity to bring a different kind of spirit into the home, it could be tonight, even if for dinner and 30 minutes of play/ conversation time with the kids. After knowing what time works for you to be present, you must then see how you can be optimally self-regulated right before show time. That way, you are giving your family the best of you.
We need you calm, cool, and collected. Do your exercise, have a 20 minute epsom salt bath soak, belly breath slowly 9x's, meditate, pray, have 1 (not 2) glass of wine, self-regulate with your family by going for a walk to the park, or some family gardening, take a power nap, do some stretching, ask your spouse to give you a shoulder rub in front of the kids... get creative on how you self-regulate and teach your kids the value of rest and relaxation (down time) by talking about it, practicing it, and having them coach you back on it. Another idea I like: time the evening so that storytelling (different from story reading) can be done in the family room. Consider it a time of digestion, low lights, and guided conversation with the kids. A late uncle of mine use to start a story and then we would take turns adding to it. The goal was that each person would get creative and longer with their parts of the story. Storytelling trumps watching mindless television any day of the week. It is like recreating the campfire story time, but in your own home.
Self-regulation of our physical, mental, and emotional state has to be prioritized so that we are firing on all cylinders during work and home life. In so doing, we do start reaping greater degrees of family love and contentment according to our consistent efforts. The spirit of love manifests a comforting presence that cannot be ignored. Kids flock like birds to their parents when this dynamic is in play, and this country (any country) depends on the non-material strength of each family. We build this material one day at a time by sticking to what we value and showing our kids the same. It then is essential that Mom and Dad be clearly aware that they SHARE responsibility in being the stewards of keeping family values by practicing them daily in and out of the family environment. By doing so we provide a framework in which our children learn valuable life skills, and the kind of traits and characteristics that make this country still great.
Coach Bill Tip of the Week:
Focus on ensuring that your time with your child or student was a positive memory for them, even if you didn't do/ finish things the right way, or to your expectations. Tomorrow will be another day. We want them to look forward to doing the activity again, and that they had a nice time with you. To bring this caring attitude we have to see value in the idea that we work on establishing, and consistently re-establishing rapport; working within that zone of role-modeled lovingkindness, firmness and respect SUPPORTS kids and adults to feel motivated to do better. From within those frameworks, like a general in battle, it is possible to get children and young adults to make remarkable progress, and strides forward, even when challenges and obstacles appear insurmountable.
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