It's the second week of 2013. How are your resolutions coming along? If you feel like you're failing already, you're in good company; about 25% of New Year’s resolutions are broken in the first week alone. Let's not even get into the first month statistics! Despite these facts, families still create New Year’s resolutions them each and every year. We start off with enthusiasm and everyone talks about putting forth the effort to try and change...then the winter vacation ends and the school year resumes. Your son forgets his practice bag for after school sports. Your daughter runs back in the house because she left her binder. It's still like pulling teeth to get kids out of bed and out the door on time for school and this is only the first week back.
Old habits die hard, right?
So far your New Year is looking like last year. What can you do to help the kids create better habits and routines? Well, I can sell you a bunch of cliches along with some things that may work for just a little while, but the truth we must accept and acknowledge that we aren't perfect and neither are our kids...and none of us are in danger of becoming perfect anytime soon!
Understand and accept that you will have to repeat yourselves many times when it comes to giving your kids instructions. Kids learn from repetition, it isn't a bad thing! When you see that light bulb moment and your little one models the behavior you have been encouraging for however many months, the payoff will be priceless!
The kids forgot their gym bag. So what! They remembered it the other 186+ days of school. Always look for the silver lining. They also have good health which allows them to participate in a Physical Education class. There are some kids who can't and comparatively speaking, forgetting shoes isn’t so bad. So stop fretting over the small stuff! Focus on the major things that impact your family's well-being instead.
Don't pressure your children too much about making these desired changes. Instead, encourage, support and model the behavior you want. Praise them when you see changes ("You finished your homework without me asking every night this week, you rock!") and offer corrections when they fall short that don't make them feel inadequate or anxious. When you replace pressure with support, children can flourish.