It must be some sort of Murphy's Law that the week I decide to be a better parent, I've got a babysitter and a husband home plus the BlogHer conference coming up, which means I'm getting more breaks from the kids than usual.
It also means that next week is going to be a real bitch.
I will say that even though I didn't have as many opportunities to use something other than "Good Job," this whole week I've been much more mindful of how I'm interacting with my kids. And for that, I'm thankful.
Challenge #4: Get Down On Their Level
I learned this lesson during my undergraduate education (music therapy) but it's a skill that should be applied to parenting. I tend to be pretty good, though I will say bending down and squatting are not so pretty when you're 8 months pregnant.
However, when you're speaking to your children individually, or when you're giving them instruction and/or reprimanding them, make sure that you are down at their level, talking to them directly as opposed to talking down to them - for various reasons - but most obviously because you'll know you have their full attention when you do.
There's also something to be said about speaking to the top of someone's head.
I make sure my kids hear me by having them say something like "Yes, Mommy." Otherwise, I never know whether it goes in one ear and out the other. And I figure that if they say "Yes Mommy," I have a verbal contract that I can use when they make a crappy choice.
So, try it. I think it's much more respectful and I also think that it will help you have to nag and repeat yourself less.
Or at least, here's hoping!
I'm tracking all the Be a Better Parent Challenges in case you want to join in!