Do It Yourself Jun 2015

Independent Kid for Independence Day

The Fourth of July is an anticipated holiday for Americans.  Falling right in the middle of summer, it’s a time when people celebrate with food, family, friends, and fireworks. While wearing red, white and blue, the country comes together honoring the day the Declaration of Independence was signed. We light up the grills, lay by the pool, and take a long weekend to appreciate our freedom.

Even though they are called the lazy days of summer, as July rolls around, stress levels at home can be heightened.  As kids bounce from one activity to another, you might feel more like a drill sergeant barking orders than a parent.  Kids can become tired being told what to do and how to do it.  Parents are itching for school to start back up in August while kids want parents off their backs.  Come mid-summer, we bet kids will be rebelling against you to gain more freedom at home. 

WINGS has the perfect tool to help your kids feel more in control and independent! As you empower your child, you’ll see the positive behaviors you wanted. This tool is all about giving choices and lessening the power struggle. The choices should be things you are comfortable with your child choosing and neither choice should ever be a punishment. For example:  clean your room or no TV isn’t a good choice.  One is a choice and the other is a punishment.  Giving two positive choices, allows the child to pick which they prefer and gives them some confidence in their decision making power.

Here are some example choices you can give when you want something done:

Behavior Choices
Cleaning up the toy room → You can watch TV for 10 minutes and then clean the room OR you can take a 10 minute TV break ½ way through cleaning, which would you want? 
Get ready for bed → We can go read your bedtime story on a blanket outside like a camp out OR I can read you a book in bed, your choice.
Finish dinner → You can take five more bites of chicken OR finish all of your carrots, what’ll it be?
Get in the car → I can help you get in and buckle up OR your older sister can help you. Who do you want to help you?
Get out of the pool → You can swim around for 5 more minutes OR we can have 1 race, but then we have to get out, ok?

Giving two positive, creative choices followed by the freedom to pick their preference empowers kids to make the best choice for them, keeps you from giving orders, and eliminates arguments. So, as we celebrate the freedom of the United States let’s also celebrate the independence of our children as they practice decision making!