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Strategies for Creating Peace at Home
“He is happiest, be he king or peasant, who finds peace in his home.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
“What can you do to promote world peace? Go home and love your family.” – Mother Teresa
In my previous 2 articles we began discussing the tools and strategies that will help you in your efforts to create a peaceful home: The Tricks That Help Maintain Peace at Home and How to Maintain a Peaceful Home. In today’s article I will finish this discussion of creating Peace at Home.
As the adult in the home, more often than not, creating peace in your home is up to you, so I hope these few ideas will find a useful place in your “toolbox”, and your home will be a place of strong relationships, a place of learning and a place where children thrive.
Note the Child’s Perspective
I love to see parents take a moment to appreciate their child’s attempts to do the right thing, even though the results may be undesired.
This is Chloe’s story…Was just trying to help!
A dad walks into the kitchen as his six-year-old daughter, Chloe, is trying to pour some cat food into Fluffy’s food bowl. Before Dad has a chance to offer his help, cat food is spilled everywhere. Those darn round little food pellets are spreading on the floor, rolling under the fridge, and hiding under the stove. As soon as the little girl notices her dad, and realizes the mess is out of her control she says, “I just want a chore, too. Chloe’s eleven-year-old brother, Alex, just started earning an allowance for doing chores. Instead of losing his cool, Dad kneels down and says, “Thanks for trying to feed Fluffy. It was very responsible of you to want to have a chore.” Then he adds, “I’m sure we can come up with something for you to do. Let me help you clean this up first, and then we’ll set up a way for you to feed the cat that will be much easier for you.”
Remind the kids of a wonderful example…
Sometimes maintaining the peace is essential in those moments before all hell breaks loose! You have the power to prevent some crises. If you notice your kids are having a hard time dealing with a problem, before it turns into a crisis, remind them of a time when they handled a similar issue very well. And mention a couple of specific examples of what they did to deal with the issue. This reminder allows them to problem solve by relying on lessons learned recently or by being resourceful, when the issue at hand is within their scope of ability.
Matt and John’s Story…It may seem like an ultimatum, but it really isn’t!
This morning, Dad found his sons (Matt, seven years old, and John, nine) playing a video game. They were starting to argue about whose turn it was to have the controller. Dad had two options: Do nothing, or help his sons prevent a crisis. Doing nothing could have been just fine. In this case however, Dad decided to create a teachable moment by reminding the kids of a wonderful example. The day before, the boys had a very similar argument (as kids often do) while playing a different game. He had shown them how to take turns more successfully, and as a result, the boys resolved their own conflict and managed to hold onto the privilege to play video games!
So when he noticed his sons going at it again, Dad took a moment, approached the boys, got their attention, and said, “Boys, I liked the way you both learned how to share and cooperate yesterday. You got to continue playing because you didn’t end up fighting. You shared beautifully, remember? I know you can work this situation out and not lose the privilege of playing your video game!” Dad’s message was well received. The boys looked at each other and quickly decided who should take the next turn. Dad’s reminder was effective in guiding the boys. It may have seemed like an ultimatum, but actually, it was a great way to remind the kids of a time they had made a better choice by problem-solving on their own.
The strategies we have discussed will help you reach the following goals:
- Maintaining positive behaviors and peace in your home.
- Reminding the kids about established expectations from them.
- Reinforcing the foundation your kids need to internalize positive feedback and turn it into healthy self-esteem.
This is an excerpt taken from my book: “Create Happy Kids”
If you would like to read more you can order your copy today by clicking on the “Buy Now” button at the right.
I am available to do Parent Education Workshops, either Private or PTA Sponsored Classes. Contact me at 425-772-6698.