This holiday season I would like to introduce some simple tools to help fathers gain valuable information with hope of transforming their relationship with their children. Especially when things get out of control and pressures mount. It will be difficult for your children to find peace and balance during these times if you are not displaying them yourself. When things get chaotic try and pay attention to how you are feeling and respond with composure and calmness. Every interaction we have creates a relationship with our child, so try and be responsible with your words and actions. This will create the foundation in what they will expect for years to come. Choose to be peaceful!
Peaceful parenting is a concept that is foreign to most fathers I speak with. Most children were not raised this way and it is not promoted in society. A clear indication that you need to fix the relationship is when you have a defiant child. You will want to practice preventative measures with helping to create a healthy and connected home for the holidays. A fathers job is to repair and help when things get difficult, especially when your child isn’t listening, they’re yelling, and there is constant conflict. There is great power in being a father and we have a responsibility to ourselves and our children to manage our emotions, self regulate, and learn to listen when problems arise. Tell yourself their defiance is not about you, but rather a problem they need help with. Teach your child that their bad behavior is not who they are and is simply a reaction to a problem they might be having. A problem that you will gladly help them figure out so they will not feel angry, scared, or sad anymore. This is where learning negotiation and communication skills can help improve your relationship. Understand that healthy interactions have two sides to the argument and even though a decision needs to be made, allow them the comfort to know they were heard and understood. Learning self control so you can teach and coach your child to a better and more enjoyable state will help everyone enjoy these special times together. Showing your child how to release their emotions in a healthy way requires a ton of practice and great patience, but is essential in creating a peaceful home environment.
This is a special time of year and it demands a fathers presence in order to preserve the traditions and principles that each family considers valuable. I know it gets crazy with over stuffed wish lists and the building stress of finding the perfect gift for your loved ones. Try and share with your children that getting gifts is fun, but there is a very special feeling that comes from having someone know you are thinking of them. Instead of the wish lists, have them create a giving list for the people they care about. I used to take my kids to the toy store when they were younger and have them pick out the gifts for Toys for Tots. They enjoyed shopping and would get really engaged in picking out gifts for another child who might not be getting anything for Christmas. Remember when your children are young it is not always about things being done to perfection, but a time when you can build the relationship and show gratitude for them just being helpful. Having them help pick out gifts, bake holiday foods, or decorate are all great ways you can really focus on building confidence, self esteem, cooperation, and accomplishment within your child. Every interaction is important and you should always be focused on creativity and building for the future.
Ultimately I feel peaceful parenting is a great tool to allow your family the freedom to enjoy each other’s company during the holiday season. We often stress and lose focus on the importance of enjoying each others company. For over the last decade, whether its a holiday or a family vacation there is a special bond I have created with my children. My children enjoy the company of their parents, because me and my wife have worked on creating mutual and respectful relationships with them. We have a special code that only my family understands and it is one built on acceptance and trust. This year I recommend for fathers to learn about peaceful parenting. To be honest with the changes they need to make in order to show their children that they value their company with the hope to share meaningful memories for years to come.
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