1.) you don't always have to say "no".
I've read "Shepherding your child's heart" and totally agree with the Tripps that you need to instill the idea of authority to your children, however, in order to prevent everything from being a confrontation where I force my will upon my children there are several ways I encourage them to do the right thing without a fight
a.) distraction: instead of saying no, point their interest somewhere else
b.) compromise: instead of forcing a child to finish their food at every meal within a specific time frame, allow them to be excused when they are full and offer the same food for "snack" or for the next meal, or decide what is a reasonable portion and ask them to eat a specific number of bites. Sometimes I put too much on their plates and I think it would be mean to make them eat it all.
2.) Know their (and your) limits: This one is hard for me sometimes I have been know to expect my kids to do things they don't know how to do or are too tired to do. Sometimes I need to go to the store and just don't have the patience to take 3 energetic children so I get angry at them for being kids (i.e. curious, lively etc.) I could say soooo much more about this one, but you get the idea.
3.) See the bigger picture: I am horrible at this. It seems like I set a goal and in order to reach it I ignore the needs of those around me instead of ditching the goal. A good example of this is when I want to have the house clean, get caught up on laundry, make a healthy dinner and greet my husband at the door freshly showered and smelling like a rose. The only way to do this is to expect my kids to entertain themselves all day, never fight and not get stir crazy from being cooped up in our small back patio. A better way of achieving that goal is to do a bit at a time and make sure I give the kids the attention they need throughout the day.
There are so many other thoughts I have but Eliot wants to play candy land and I'd love to get some tips from some of you!
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