Written by Amy Fryer, KDCDC Instructional Coach
I am not exaggerating when I say I am the queen of homebodies – if being a homebody was an Olympic sport, I would have more gold medals than Michael Phelps. Despite this, adhering to the current stay at home order we find ourselves in can quickly become overwhelming. Every now and then, a girl would rather take her kids to the park than to the backyard, would like to casually stroll through every aisle at my favorite retail store, and most definitely hit up her favorite restaurant for some chips and queso. But, out of love for our neighbors, friends and family, we have a responsibility to stay home. Some days, staying at home is fun and easy. Everything runs so smoothly that by the end of the day you are completely confident you should be nominated for parent of the year. Other days are harder; the kids are antsy, someone is crying, everyone is fussy, no one will take a nap, there are endless messes, and all that has happened during your Zoom meeting, never mind the rest of the day. If there were ever a time for Conscious Discipline, it is now.
Here are some things I have learned in my 8 year journey with Conscious Discipline:
- We do the best we can. As a parent, there is no time to feel guilty for what we do not know or cannot do.
- Calm creates calm. If I’m upset or anxious, my child will be upset or anxious.
- Take care of you first. Take a minute to breathe. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth (imagine smelling a flower and then blowing a pinwheel).
- Take a moment to connect with your child before logging into work. You could play a game of pat-a-cake, sing a song, or cuddle up for a story. Connecting with your child will help them feel valued and safe. It instills confidence and creates independence.
- Routines help children feel safe. We all like to know what happens next. While you’re home, try to stick to a routine. You could draw a schedule for your child or use timers to help incorporate a routine.
- Choices are your friend. Having the run of the house may be overwhelming for a child. If you are trying to work or make dinner, offer your child two positive choices. For example, you may say, “Would you like to build with blocks or play with play-doh?” Offer your child more freedom during times when you are able to fully engage with them.
- Offer encouragement to your child throughout the day. Say things like, “You built a tower all by yourself so I could make you lunch, that was helpful.” Or, “You read your books while I got the baby to sleep, that was helpful.” “You worked on your tablet quietly while I was in my work meeting, that was helpful.” What we notice we get more of.
- View any undesirable behavior as a call for help. Your child is not plotting against you. They just need you at that moment. Take a minute to reconnect with your child.
I am by no means a Conscious Discipline expert, but I have seen these things work with my own children and in the classroom. We all lose our Conscious Discipline cool sometimes, just take things minute by minute. For more information about Conscious Discipline, visit consciousdiscipline.org. You can even create an account to receive free resources.
YOU CAN DO THIS! Stay safe, stay home!
Conscious Discipline: Seven Skills of Discipline
Conscious Discipline Parent Education Curriculum
Do you and your family need something fun to do together while at home? Watch the video below to see Ms. Amy and her family make homemade play dough!