We love out kids right?
Even when they are being little sh*ts!
But we do get frustrated and angry sometimes. We do let ‘life’ get in the way.
And with horror we sometimes realise that our kids don’t know how much we love them.
It can even get to the awful stage that they get hurt and angry and tell us that they hate us.
I remember with horror the night I tucked Curly Headed Boy into bed 6 months after Little Dimples was born and said ‘You do know I love you as much as her don’t you?’ and this sad little boy just shook his head.
HOW COULD HE NOT KNOW I LOVED HIM WITH ALL MY HEART? I was always telling him and hugging him. But life is difficult with a new baby in the house.
So, if you are having problems with your kids and they are attention seeking (i.e. being sh*tty), saying they hate you or feeling distant from you, here are my three top tips for turning it all around with a little routine at the end of bed time every night.
1) Three Best Things
This is a good calming exercise for the end of the day and helps them learn to see that life is never all bad.
Everyone says what the ‘3 Best things’ were that happened today. It’s basically counting your blessings.
You do it too, so that they get an idea of what is going on in your life (how many times do I realise that the kids are blissfully unaware of what Mummy does all day!).
There are ALWAYS three things if not more, so keep helping them to look even if it’s just for a sunny day or cup of hot chocolate (coffee in your case).
2) I Love You …
I want my kids to know that I love ALL of them. Every little last bit of them. I don’t love them despite the bad bits, I love them totally.
So every night I say …
I LOVE YOU
From the top of your head, to the bottom of your toes <point to top of head and toes>,
From your squiggly insides to your outsides <tickle tummy>,
From your naughty side to your good side <point to one cheek and the next>,
From here to infinity <point to the nose and up into the sky>
3) Special Together Time
Oliver James has written a whole book on this called ‘Love Bombing’ which is currently on my ‘to read’ list. The theory is that you spend a day with one of your kids and from the beginning to the end it’s all their decision about what you guys do.
Now this doesn’t work for me with Little Dimples being so young, and it would be really difficult for a single parent to do regularly.
But the concept is good; make sure that in a month you get to spend some time alone with each child doing something that brings you closer and reconnects you. If you make it a habit, then they will know that they will get this time, so they don’t have to kick off to get your attention. If you can only get 15 mins, then make the most of what time you have. An hour would be fab; whatever you can manage.
Then maybe once a year try to get half a day with each child on their own for a special treat.
I’d Love To Hear Your Stories
It happens in so many relationships that people don’t feel loved, despite us thinking it is obvious.
And I think it’s easy to fall into the trap of saying hurtful things to each other when we are tired and upset about things.
Just remember that if your kids are angry with you, it’s probably just covering up some hurt, so all they need is for you to understand their emotional immaturity and help them feel better.
All children love their parents, it’s just that things like guilt, fear, anger, hurt etc can get in the way of our relationships with them.
The key is to make it a habit to show them you love them and build daily confidence in your kids.