Previous Entry: Welcome to The Parenting Studio!
Note: it’s a really important (and short) introduction- so make sure to go back if you haven’t read it yet)
Today I’m going to share with you the parenting issue I chose to tackle in The Parenting Studio, and I’ll show you how I narrow it down to even smaller, workable chunks.
The principle I’m following is: The key to success is the pain you address.
And since I know that issues that are too big and symptomatic (“stop shouting”) are guaranteed to move me away from success, I’m nailing down a parenting challenge that has been triggering LOTS of shouting and stress in my home.
The idea is to avoid the big, symptomatic “Stop shouting” resolution, and tackle one of its causes. (I’m pretty sure my neighbors would love me to go straight to “stop shouting”, and I’m sorry to disappoint them).
I also want to make sure that you will benefit from my inner work (and from the parenting solutions I come up with)—so I picked a challenge that most parents I know end up dealing with on a daily basis.
And the parenting challenge is…
THE KIDS’ BEDTIME
Bedtime in our multi-aged family stretches over 2 hours. At least. That means 2 hours of unpleasant interaction between myself and the children, that often escalates into shouting and shouting matches.
As explained before, I ask the following three WH questions-
WHY do I yell around this issue?
WHEN am I likely to raise my voice around this issue?
WHAT drives me to yell around this issue?
I write down my answers.
Why do I yell? I yell because…
“bedtime” takes too long;
Because the kids need so many reminders;
Because the kids ignore my reminders;
Because I can’t take care of everyone’s needs at the same time;
Because the kids make so much noise and the “baby” (3-yr old LY) wakes up
Because I believe “bedtime” is fundamental to a well-functioning home, and I feel inadequate when I can’t control it with my own kids
Because I don’t get enough sleep;
Because I don’t trust that the kids will move fast enough if I speak softly.
I’m likely to yell when…
my kids show no sign of getting ready for bed;
when it’s getting late and they didn’t complete their daily chores yet;
When it’s already dark and they realize they didn’t do homework yet;
When they argue with me when I tell them it’s late;
When I realize that my personal time is slipping away because the kids are still around;
When they keep coming out of bed after they finally got in it;
When I’m exhausted after an intense day;
When I have a deadline and I planned on finishing it that night.
What drives me to yell?
Thinking about why it’s my fault that they’re (again) not in bed in a decent hour drives me to yell. For example:
Thinking about how…
My 5 year old doesn’t get enough sleep because of me
My 5 year old doesn’t go to sleep early or fast enough
I didn’t make dinner on time;
I checked emails when I shouldn’t have;
I didn’t make sure LY (3.5) went to bed early enough;
I’m inefficient with my day so I end up being unfocused in the evening;
I’m selfish- my proiorities aren’t in order (if I was more focused on the kids’ needs, they would have been in bed already)
They’re not in bed yet because I go to sleep too late every night, so they’re not motivated to sleep early, either.
*Based on the list I made, I’m going to pick a very specific issue that causes me to shout around bedtime, and that’s the first issue that I’ll Livestream with the 4 -Step Livestream Method.
I decided to isolate the issue my 4.5 year old daughter, because I feel more responsible for actually tucking her in than I do the older children (as far as my 3.5 yr old is concerned, at least for now I have a routine that I’m okay with.)
While it may seem like a minor issue compared to the other items on my WH list, it’s a real pain for me every night to see this little girl running around the house when other kids her age are already sound asleep.
Entry 3—“Eliana (5) should go to sleep earlier and faster”
Follow me as my real parenting challenge turns into concrete solutions, and into my own peace of mind & personal transformation.