By the end of the day, you’ve had enough and you are struggling to keep your cool, make dinner, and break up a sibling fight. You think that having a peaceful home and peaceful children is a far-off fantasy that other people can attain, but not your family. Think again. Raising peaceful children is possible and is a realistic goal for your family. Making small changes in your behavior and your child’s daily routines can make a big difference in your home. Begin with these 5 steps and you will be on your way to a more relaxed home in which you can enjoy your children.
1. As a parent, listen more than you speak. Ask your child open-ended questions that allow for her to expand on her thoughts and experiences. Listen as your children talk to you. They will feel validated if they believe you’re truly paying attention as opposed to thinking about what your response is going to be.
2. Limit electronics. Give your child time to think and reflect without the stimulation of a video game, television show, or social media website demanding his attention. Children need this downtime to listen to their inner voice and process their thoughts, just as adults need this time to decompress from a stressful day. Teaching your child that this peaceful time is important will help him develop the internal need for time away from electronics.
3. Engage in calm family activities. Surrounding your child with a peaceful environment will help focus him and encourage him to be peaceful. Plan times in your day for calm activities such as art, cooking, or gardening with your child. Avoid loud activities, such as active board games or sports during these designated times. Refrain from filling your child’s silent moments with conversation during these peaceful activities. Children do not feel uncomfortable silences like adults. Welcome these moments as a non-verbal connections with your child.
4. Reduce audible and visual clutter. Children find it difficult to relax and center themselves when surrounded by chaos. Make an effort to avoid having the television on as background noise in your home. Donate unnecessary toys, clothes, and books to a charity and see how your child responds emotionally. Your child directly responds to his environment. A quiet, organized home is a peaceful home.
5. Become a peaceful parent. Model quiet activities, such as reading, and speak in a calm tone of voice when interacting with your child and other adults. Your children will mimic your behaviors, both positive and negative. If you show anger, hostility, sarcasm, and frustration, your child will display those behaviors, too. Before you act, make sure you behave in a manner that you would like your child to emulate.
Ms. Elizabeth is our director and fully believes in providing each child an individualized education that allows freedom for creativity and imagination while still acquiring the necessary skills to be successful in the world.