Friday, January 23, 2015

What do I expect?

Have you ever made a New Year's Resolution?

I'll admit, I'm not really the Resolution type.  If I want to change something I just set my mind to it.

BUT, that doesn't work for everyone...especially my two boys.  

The story begins on a typical Monday morning in November.  When the school year began my boys were waking up, getting around and we were leaving for school with ample time.  At no point did I feel rushed, anxious or irritable.  Then as the year went on we began leaving a minute or two later each week.  Then November arrived!  The dreaded time change.  On this particular morning I remember getting the boys up in plenty of time.  But it was Monday and they were moving REALLY slow.  To make a long story short voices were raised and some tears shed.

I remember driving to school and lecturing the boys about responsibility.  Telling them they are getting older and that they needed to be more independent.  It was my typical lecture that, of course, went on a bit too long.  

Then it hit me.  I was part of the problem.  What was my goal?  Ultimately I wanted my boys to start the day on a positive note.  By lecturing and showing my frustration, I was far from the goal.  That day I felt horrible, I had to wait over six hours before I could see my oldest son and begin to make things right.  

As the day was winding down my son walked into my office.  He sat where he usually does, but he didn't say a word.  I spent the next several minutes trying to figure out some things he did during his day.  His answers were short.  

Then I spoke to him and told him I loved him, then I apologized for my frustration in the morning. At that moment he and I talked about ways to make the mornings better.  We discussed what he wanted to do and what I was truly hoping for.  I gained valuable insight into what he wants to do in the morning and he heard what I expected from him.  The key to moving forward was communication.

I wish I could say that since then things have been perfect, but we're human beings...nothing is perfect.  Most mornings are pretty good.  Every so often we have to re-visit our goals and open up those lines of communication.

I say all this because we are now at the mid-point of the year.  Are there things you wish were different?  Homework routines?  Bedtime routines?  The morning rush?  Eating habits? 

Now is the time to sit down and talk to your kids.  Instead of making the mistake I did and simply getting frustrated to the point of anger...I encourage you to make the change.  

If we continue to do the same thing over and over and expect a change we are kidding ourselves.

Here's to a new year and a fresh start at keeping the joy in your home.

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One More Game...

Malala's Nobel Peace speech. The power of doing what is right!