Are you a Couch Potato Parent?
Are you a couch potato parent?
You know, one of those parents that like to parent from the side lines, shouting orders across the room, dictating what needs to be done, seeing squabbles and intervening with words instead of actions?
We’ve all done it. It’s easier….. isn’t it? And we’re tired….. right? We can just tell our kids what needs to happen, or what they need to stop doing. No need to get off the couch…….?
For young kids they generally tend to act first, think later, especially when there are strong emotions involved. And they may not even think at all in the sense we’re thinking of, i.e. realising they have done something to upset a sibling etc etc. They are compelled to meet their needs in the ways they have available to them at the time, and those ways may make messes, upset their siblings, be loud. So us then using words to explain what ‘behaviour we want to see’, or not see, isnt often going to work in the long term or the short term, and it certainly isnt doing anything for our relationships with our kids.
So what needs to happen?
Well, having been a couch potato parent myself from time to time, I’ve found what makes things easier is being right there with your kids. Getting off the couch! By being there, especially with young kids you can be one step ahead to prevent sibling rivalry before it happens, on hand to help toddlers do the things that would otherwise have led to a melt down, seeing your 6 year old needs more paper before they ask, seeing hungry signs in your kids before they realise it and bringing them a snack. All this helps to prevent issues in the first place, it also helps your kids trust that you are right there with them, helping them negotiate and be in the world.
However, things aren’t always preventable and we can’t always be right there with our kids 24/7, so when upsets do occur, go to your children and calmly show or do what needs to happen to restore peace to a situation. If your childs having a tantrum, be there for them, either hands on or quietly waiting depending on what your child prefers. If your child needs something, get it where possible. If there is a problem between siblings, find a solution that makes everyone happy without punishment or making anyone feel bad about themselves.
There is so many benefits to parenting this way, not only a much more connected loving trusting relationship with your kids, not only more peace at home, not only a warm fuzzy feeling from knowing your doing your best, but you’ll probably find you get fitter and lose a pound or two from all the extra running around!
Look forward to hearing your thoughts below!