In part 1 of Chores Suck we talked about how to introduce chores.
In part 2 we talked about how the atmosphere in your home
and the way your kids feel about their home affects their willingness to do chores.
Now let us spend a little time exploring how to deal with times
when your kids don’t want to do chores.
How We React To Them Deeply Affects Their Attitude
How we react to them in difficult moments is so important.
In fact it is almost more important than how we react to them and good moments.
When young people behave in a rude, difficult or defiant manner
it is usually stemming from a place of disconnection or pain.
If we add to their feelings of disconnection and pain
then we are likely to only increase the negative behaviour.
This is of course counterproductive and doesn’t help anyone.
Dealing With Our Own Pain Is Essential
The problem is of course when we face defiance it gets our own back up.
It pushes our buttons and activates our triggers.
Much of the time those triggers were installed
when we ourselves were young.
It is often our young selves trying to be protective
when we have a reaction.
Therefore it is very important for us to not take things personally.
This is easier said than done of course because the pain is still real.
Choosing Our Reactions Rather Than Just Reacting Takes EFFORT!
It takes significant effort to detach oneself
from the feeling of anger, defensiveness
and the hurt that we might feel
when facing disobedience from our kids.
When we can achieve this though,
we are able to see beneath the surface of what is going on.
And the solution to difficult situations always lies beneath the surface.
Therefore the first step in dealing with behaviours from our children
is to learn emotional control for ourselves.
Self-knowledge and self-awareness are always essential
to any successful relationship,
and the parent-child relationship is no exception.
Once you have attained a level of inner stability
then you are able to choose consciously and intelligently
what kind of reaction you will have in different circumstances.
What Is The Most Helpful Reaction To Defiance?
Now we must think what is the most helpful reaction
to have when children refuse to do chores?
Or really in any act of rebellion or defiance?
If we have introduced the chores effectively
as in part 1
and if we are working hard to create an equal
and inclusive atmosphere in our home
as in part 2
then there must be a deeper reason why
defiance is showing up in our children.
Are They Testing You?
Will You Pass The Test?
Usually they are feeling some kind of pain inside.
Or perhaps they are testing you.
(which also comes from pain)
When I say they are testing you I mean it differently from
the common understanding of that phrase.
I don’t mean they are testing your limits
or testing your boundaries.
What I mean is they are testing your love.
Do Mom And Dad Love Me Unconditionally?
They want to know if you truly love them unconditionally.
Unconditionally means they can feel your love
even when they are acting badly towards you.
In either case whether they are reacting out of pain or testing
you the most effective response is a loving one.
Love, understanding and acceptance
are the most powerful tools in your parenting toolbox.
They can achieve miracles that
punishment, consequences and control never can.
Take a Breath and Choose Love
Therefore when you are tempted to react
with anger and frustration,
take a breath,
take a couple steps back from the situation.
In that moment open your heart
and see the beautiful spirit that your child is.
Connect to their heart and their love.
You Are More Powerful Than You Realize
It can be very challenging in those moments,
but you are a powerful being yourself.
You have deep love and compassion inside you,
I know this.
This is the time to access it.
An Unexpected Reaction Will Produce an Unexpected Result
If you can show this deep love and compassion to your children
when they are expecting you to push back against their defiance
it will completely disarm them.
Show them you can relate to what they are feeling
and that having those kinds of feelings is normal and natural at times.
They will feel understood and soon will have no need for defiance
because there is nothing to defy.
There will be no need for rebellion
because there is nothing to rebel against.
Love Takes Time And Patience
If you have a habit pattern already established of anger
Control, consequences, punishment, yelling or any other
Conflict and disconnecting interactions
Then it may take a while to establish a new pattern.
Be patient and persistent in your loving reactions
And they will have no choice but to come along with you.
Showing Extreme Kindness and Understanding
When I ask my daughter to do something and she says no
I will often say to her
“I understand my darling.
I also don’t want to do certain things at times.
Maybe you can do it later if you feel like it.
If you really, really don’t want to do it I can do it for you.”
This level of kindness and understanding
has a profound effect the upon her.
She doesn’t feel any power struggle from me.
This Leads To Genuine and Authentic Relationships
With Self and Each Other
The result of this is that she now will only say no
when she genuinely feels she doesn’t want to do something.
Times when she doesn’t want to do something just a little bit
she will still push herself to do it
because she feels an equal part of the family community
and has not being put down for times she wants to do things differently.
This has created a pleasant and harmonious atmosphere in our household.
I wish the same for you.
Give these ideas a try and let me know how it goes.