When things are hard, it’s sometimes hard to step back and smell the roses.
It’s hard for us, and often even harder for our children. But the truth is that that is exactly what we need to do – we need to refocus the way both we and they think and concentrate on what has gone right rather than on what has gone wrong.
Today, as I sit and write this we have had a wonderful day the sun has shone, we’ve eaten beautiful food, the children have played with their cousin and as a bonus I got chance to get my camera out.
And that is how I am determined to remember it. My glass is full.
I could also tell you that the Bear felt sick the whole way there (and back), that the place we chose for breakfast was dreadful, and that we narrowly averted two meltdowns. But the truth is, that is not how I am going to choose to remember the day.
So How Can You Repaint Your Picture?
The Rule Of Three
For a long time the end of school was a big long moan in our house. The focus was very much on what had gone wrong. It used to drive me more than a little crazy. Then we stopped and introduced the rule of three. The rule quite simply means that before any moans are allowed, three good things about your day have to be shared. It reframed our end of the day conversation. I would drive home after school thinking about the three things I could share and the Bear once she got used to the idea got excited about doing the same. For those reluctant to join in withholding the end of school snack until after the conversation is held can definitely help.
Tell Me Your Favourite Thing
My family are not particularly expressive. I smile constantly, the rest of the household do a fantastic (and fairly constant) impression of misery. It isn’t something I find particularly easy – although they would counter that people who walk round permanently smiling look silly and that they are not miserable they are just normal. So now after a day out, which usually consist of a mixture of highlights and lowlights, we all share our favourite part on the way home. It reassures me that everyone did indeed have a good time (even if their faces tell a different story) and it stops them getting nagged by me all day about whether they are enjoying themselves.
The Bear and I love to take photographs. But more than that we love to look back at them. Photographs remind us of the highlights of our lives, they remind us of fun, laughter and happy times. When a day is going wrong or the weather means that leaving the house just isn’t worth it there is nothing the lightens the mood quite like looking at old photos… especially the ones where you look utterly terrible.
Have A Yes Hour
Do you ever have those moments when you literally feel like nothing you can do is right? Those days where you wish you could stop nagging, the children could stop moaning and you could just reboot the day. Well the truth is you can do all those things. A ‘Yes Hour’ means that for one hour you will agree to all reasonable requests (A trip to Disneyland is off limits), it’s a chance to step back remind your children that you are human and remind yourself of how amazing they are when things are going well. Set a timer and challenge them to make the most of their hour. It’s a fantastic way to press pause and make some amazing memories.
Is It Really That Easy?
Honestly, like everything else it takes work. Especially at first. It literally does mean changing the way you think and that is never easy. But the truth is the more you do it, the easier it becomes. And before you know it, it will become like second nature both for you and your children.
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