Thursday, November 19, 2009

What's the tone of your home?

Parents play a lead role in setting the overall tone in their families. Parents whose overall tone tends to be negative often have homes filled with stress and tension. While parents who take a more positive approach create calmer, happier homes.

A Home Filled with Tension

One mom told me about all the stress in her home. One of her three sons was doing very poorly in school. She and her husband were constantly nagging Joe to do his homework although it didn't seem to help much. Sometimes Joe even skipped school and they responded by yelling at him and grounding him.

However, Joe would leave the house even though he was grounded. Home was not a welcoming place for Joe. This family turned things around when they made the tough decision to let Joe worry about his homework and grades instead of them. When they stopped nagging him, he started spending more time at home and he actually began taking more responsibility for his homework.

Replacing Negative Statements with Positive Statements

Sometimes parents get in the habit of interacting with their children using negative statements and commands. Read the following statements one dad made to his children and think about how you would feel if you were a child hearing these remarks:
  • "You aren't going outside until you put sunscreen on."
  • "Stop messing around with that!"
  • "If you don't hurry up and get your shoes on, I'm not taking you."
  • "You've already watched too much TV. You should not have turned it on again, now turn it off."
  • "You're not eating dinner until you wash your hands."
  • "You are dawdling and we're going to be late!"
  • "Stop bugging your sister!"

How do you feel after reading these statements?

Let's look at how these same ideas could be expressed more positively:

(read the rest of the article at Priceless Parenting)

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