There are three things I’d like to change in this house to keep tempers from flaring, fights from starting and resentment from building.
So I’ve told the kids that starting from today we are going to…
#1 Look at each other’s eyes when we speak
#2 Hug A LOT, like ten times a day
#3 Change our understanding of what a time-out means in this house
I realised that amongst the kids they don’t look at each other much when they talk. And between me and the kids, we don’t make much eye contact anymore. I bark a lot of orders from a distance, and even when I say goodnight, I’m practically just spacing out with my back turned against them, facing the littlest whom I’m almost always nursing at bedtime. Their father, on the other hand, constantly reminds them to look at him when he is talking to them, and from what I am observing, the dynamics between them and their father is one of greater respect and better communication.
It took me a while before it finally dawned on me that I have allowed familiarity to set in to breed a good deal of contempt, that we’re taking each other’s presence for granted, and that I have forgotten that one of the many ways to show love to children is to give them lots and lots of eye contact.
Yep, no excuse here. So you can ahead and smack me on the head.
Also, recently I came across this on FB which made me re-evaluate the ‘when’ in giving my hugs.
I hug the kids when I send them off to school. So that’s about only once a day for Ben and Becks and twice a week for Nat. They go for enrichment lessons twice a week, and so that’s another two more hugs. Within a day, I hardly hug them. Ben is so tall now and sometimes when he pounces on me as if to give me a hug, I get annoyed. Nat makes me carry him all the time when we are out and I “hug” him almost reluctantly. Becks hug me from behind on occasions like this – like now when I’m sitting at a desk with my laptop typing this post – and she takes every chance to play hairdresser and I get irritated when she yanks too much hair out while combing.
So these poor children don’t get enough hugs for survival and are even deprived of opportunities to show love.
What a terrible Mommy they have – is what you must say. Go ahead, you can smack me on the head again.
So I’m going to fulfil their hugs quota everyday from today onwards. I don’t care if I need to do this religiously like a Mommy rule to follow – I will have to do it. And I told the kids to give one another as many hugs as they can too. Instead of fighting and pushing and getting angry with one another – which occurs often – let’s try hugging.
I gave them permission to shout ‘group hug’ whenever they need it and we’ll all try to drop whatever we’re doing and come from where we are to give it.
We need to hug at least four times and ideally ten times a day.
Lastly, I’ve going to elevate the status of time-outs at home. No, it WILL NO LONGER be a form of punishment. It will not be about isolating you from the rest of the family because you’re misbehaving. I’m not going to use the cane at a time-out too. I told the kids that whenever I see them losing control, they go for a time-out. And no, it’s not a punishment. It’s not something bad. It’s not even because you’ve done wrong although you might have been wrong. It’s just because you lost control and you need to breathe and calm down. That’s all.
And when they see Mama lose control, they can also ask Mama to go for a time-out because she needs to breathe and calm down and stop hyperventilating, yelling and flailing her arms.
Yea, we’ll be as open as we can that way from now on.
Let’s hope these little changes would improve some things at home, fill their love tanks up and make our home a lovelier one than it already is.