Ebb and Flow

We’ve been having our share of emotional struggles this past weekend with both the girls. What’s been great so far is their willingness to accept responsibility and do repair work. We may not be able to quiet down their outbursts in the moment- but my wife and I are hoping that as a result of the repair work they’ve been doing they really think about the consequences of their actions. Towards themselves- towards each other- towards the environment they are in- and towards us.

I don’t know whether it’s related to an age situation or wanting to break free independently, but my oldest seems to be engaging in a power struggle over how the events of the day will play out with us. She figures in her head if she wants things a certain way- that’s how it will be. If she makes a promise to someone and doesn’t feel in the mood to follow through, that we will bail her out of a commitment. That would be doing her a great disservice though. We are teaching her responsibility, even if she doesn’t like it in the moment, we want her to understand you don’t break the promises that you make to people that depend on you.

My youngest daughter who is very careful on how things are done discussed with my wife earlier in the day about trading one particular repair job for another. She is cleaning the refrigerator inside and out and organizing it better for us to be able to find the items we need. She does get overwhelmed at such large tasks so I use a bit of positive verbal reinforcement and physical reinforcement (high fives, hugs) to keep her spirits going in the right direction.

I want her to know that I’m glad that she is showing us that she wants to work together as a family and pull us closer with the completion of this task. Earlier in the weekend she picked up the bathroom as a result of another repair task, and these steps are huge to recognizing what we have to do when we face challenges and act out towards the one we love inappropriately.

So today I feel like my head is in a bit of a fog. Our building where we live had a fire alarm go off about 45 minutes into my normal sleep time. The cats ran underneath the bed and stayed for a long time for fear of the high pitched wail. My daughter made sure I was aware of the alarm and we quickly left the house.

So my message today is understand the ebb and flow of your children and their emotions, especially during the summer time. They want to relax, they know they have commitments to fulfill and yet you may hear the two famous words all children love to say, “I’m bored.” Don’t take this personally. They need to crank up their imaginations and be able to not have items entertain them all the time- they can be very creative if you let them. Channel that energy in the right direction.

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