Do you ever feel badly that a parenting tool everyone thinks is oh so great isn’t working for you? Or just frustrated in general that a tool you would like to use doesn’t seem to work?
No matter how great a parenting tool may seem, in truth, parenting tools are not one size fits all. Sometimes a parenting tool may sound great on paper but when we put it into action we realize that its just not a great match for our family or for that moment.
Here is an example:
The 2 minute warning tool and I just don’t match up so well.
The idea of the 2 minute warning tool is to help children transition, such as moving on to a different activity or leaving.
Now, no matter how much I like the idea of using 2 minute warnings with my children, I used to I find myself saying “2 minutes” about 10 times and then 2 minutes turned into 20 minutes. I was using the tool incorrectly because really, this tool just isn’t a good match with my chatty, go with the flow personality.
The downside to using the tool incorrectly? I ended up rushing the kids after excessive false warnings and created more stress for us all.
This time warning tool in theory is great. If used as intended it let’s children prepare for a transition and parents shift their attention to what needs to get done before leaving.
Here’s the thing, for a parenting tool to really work, it must truly meet the needs of both parent and child, and here it clearly wasn’t meeting either of our needs at all.
-Why does the tool not work? Because I’m not able to use it the way it’s intended, I’m too chatty and ultimately don’t respect my children’s needs for a smooth transition.
-What tool can I use instead? Something more connective and clear both for me and the children.
-What we do now? Instead of saying “2 minutes” 10 times, I’m striving to be more decisive and ultimately when it’s time to leave, I connect for a few minutes, find out what my kids are playing and then stay focused on them for bit, then I can let them know it’s really and truly time to leave. By choosing a different tool that actually matches our needs, we are all able to follow through and work together.
Just because a tool is part of a parenting program or sounded like a great tip from a another parent, it doesn’t mean there is something wrong with you or your kids if the tool doesn’t really work like it “should”.
If a parenting tool is working, great! If it’s not, don’t be afraid to change things up.
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Peace & Be Well,