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Yes You Can!: Phrases That Have Made Parenting Easier | The Family Podcast Network



Jun 18

Yes You Can!: Phrases That Have Made Parenting Easier

making sandwichThere is no denying it. I am what is referred to as a 'Type A' personality.

What does that commonly mean?

For me it means I like order, neatness, control, schedules, lists, you get the idea. Kids don't care what personality type you are. Kids are their own type of personality. They don't fit into any type of mold and for us neat freak, organizing, particular individuals, kids were designed solely to come in and crap all over what you had ever so perfectly planned.

In any situation such as this, I have realized in life you can do one of two things: fight it or go with the flow. 

What does fighting your child's personality get you? For one, heartburn. I know from experience. Frustration, anger, contempt. Did I mention frustration. Or what about frustration. Yeah, frustration.

It only took me about 5 years into having small children to realize a beautiful, magical, wonderful trick. When you let kids be kids, an amazing thing happens. Wait for it.........You're both happier!

So what does this 'letting kids be kids' look like? Lets take lunch for our first example. Our kids are 7, 5, 3 and 1. Here within probably just the last several months the older 3 have expressed an interest in making their own lunch. I was very torn about this. There was the Type A part of me that lunch making was apart of my daily routine. At 11:45 I would pull out lunch stuff, fix sandwiches, add some fruit, pour a few chips, fix everyone a glass of ice water and neatly place it on the table. It all changed when the kids wanted to step in.

Our kids are not picky eaters. We don't play that game. However, when they started making their own lunches, each kid wanted something different. That was a hard concept for me to grasp. Everyone should eat the same thing at lunch. But then I had to ask myself, why does it matter? IT DOESN'T!

 So my answer to the kids when they asked if they could make their own lunch was 'yes you can!!!'

Anna, who is so much like me, made a traditional meat and cheese sandwich with mayo, an apple and a few chips. Grant, he had ketchup with a little bit of hot dog. Yes, I wrote that correctly. Cora had a, well, she made a peanut butter, cheese and ketchup sandwich. And ate every. single. bite. As I choked back nausea and my words as she made her sandwich, Cora was as happy as a lark. I thought for sure it was going to be a bust. I KNEW the minute she was going to take a bite into that monstrosity, she would ask to make another sandwich. But she didn't. Not one time.

The kids self esteem soared!

So now, every day, the kids watch the clock and when noon hits they all roll into the kitchen and make lunch. IT"S FABULOUS! I don't have to do it! There are guidelines that do have to be followed. Not too many chips, try not to lick the spoon before sticking it back into the jelly, if you spill something you clean it up and when you are finished, your area has to be spotless. Table, chair and floor. It has worked beautifully.

So what are some other phrases that can make parenting easier other than 'yes you can'?

A common one in this house is 'it was an accident.' I am harder on myself than anyone else could ever be. Just this weekend, I managed to lose $45 dollars. I was devastated. DEVASTATED! I have no idea how it fell out of my pocket. I cried, I got frustrated with myself, I told myself what a stupid mistake that was. $45 may not seem like an impressive amount. But it is to us! But what did Trey do? He looked as me with calm, soft eyes and simply stated 'It's ok, babe. It was an accident.' What a relief it is to your children to know it is ok to mess up! We all make mistakes.

Some mistakes cost more than others, but the fact of the matter is it is a mistake. Of course little Joey didn't mean to spill the milk! Or Judy dropped a glass on the floor. When we dwell on the mistakes our children make, it does nothing but cause shame. When I lost the money and was dwelling on it, it certainly didn't make me feel any better. I couldn't take back losing it. Now, what I will do is next time make sure that money is shoved all the way into my pocket. The same thing can be done with your kids in a very loving and patient manner. After the situation has calmed, and little Joey has cleaned up his mess, you can ask him what he can do next time to not spill his milk. Not in a shaming or blaming manner, but truly in a manner meant to teach. And then there is often just the recognition that sometimes mistakes just happen. As a parent, you can respond with 'it was an accident!'

One phrase that Cora especially loves is 'your choice.' Her peanut butter, cheese and ketchup sandwich was her choice. She loves to pick out what pj's she is going to wear. She loves to choose what to eat at a restaurant, what clip to wear in her hair and what shoes. Allowing her to make these choices skyrockets her self esteem and she is just flat out happier when I am not trying to control her.

It is our job as parents to protect, love and watch over our children. But it is also our job to teach them. If we helicopter parent, our kids never learn! They will never know what it feels like to mess up, and then recover from it. They will not learn how to think independently and make bad choices.

Bad choices are awesome to make! It means you will make better one's later.

So start adopting some some positive phrases in your parenting. 'Yes you can!' 'It's ok.' 'It was a mistake.' The list goes on and on. Be creative and watch your kids blossom.


Photo Jun 11, 12 25 33 PM

Our kids during lunch time. It's amazingly difficult to get a good picture of three young kids ready to eat! Ha!



Permanent link to this article: http://thefamilypodcastnetwork.com/blog/phrases


It is still a struggle.  Especially when they want to do really weird things or drop chicken eggs! Ha! Thanks for the encouragement. Very flattering knowing your reading, Al!



Excellent article, Corrie! I have struggled with this myself. Keep posting!