Hey, Rachel Sklar here from Sklar Parenting. Today I have a tip, or mantra really, called “Fix the System, not the child.” So many of my clients and workshop participants say their kids don’t listen, they have behavioral issues, they’re addicted to screens, they won’t do their school work or clean up their messes, they tantrum when they don’t get their way.
You get the idea. And it’s normal to think that you need to fix something about your kid. But your kid’s not broken. You’re just lacking a really good system that tells them what to expect, how to independent, and how to get along in your family.
So if you find yourself nagging and begging and even bribing or threatening your child in the heat of a moment…that’s a clear sign that you lack a system. I had a client recently who was fighting with her 4-year-old over what music to play in the car.
It’s not that the mom really cared, but she didn’t want her daughter to think that she could dictate everything. So, we came up with a new system called: Mommy’s Music Mondays. And then her daughter knew what to expect and when.
Other examples might be things like if your kids are fighting over who sits in the front seat – decide ahead of time which kid gets odd dates and which gets even dates. Or you could make a calendar for which parent does bedtime routine on which nights of the week.
Or you could post screen time hours and the consequences for going overtime. I love posting things on the wall. Any area you find yourself frustrated, there’s probably a system you could create to prevent that frustration.
And sticking to a system for a couple of weeks is usually enough to course correct that behavior without shaming and blaming your kid. In fact, systems teach kids new skills and they build confidence and they bring a lot of peace to families.
If you need help coming up with new systems that inspire cooperation and healthy collaboration in your family, I’m here for you. You can email me, find me online, reach out, get support. Just don’t be a martyr.
I always say “there are no medals for parenting alone and there’s no shame in being resourceful.” So hang in there and get support from me, or someone else, if you need it.