Are you ever frustrated at trying to find solutions to the everyday problems you face when dealing with getting through to your child? I have been. Raising one biological son and two older child adoptees, I was always looking for a surefire way to change some of the challenges we faced. One day I found through an email, an article, with a great suggestion, and a simple sentence, that I think is so helpful.
They suggested that you ask the child:
“Is the way you are doing____________ working for you?” If the answer is “NO” then say: “Why don’t you try it this way.”
I had an opportunity to use this one on my 9 year old son many years ago. Because of his background in the orphanage he wasn’t used to hugging and his way of doing just that was aggressive. I had trouble with that because I felt like I was being attacked; I know that was never his intention but he would come towards me like he was going to push me or smother me.
One day I realized the solution was right in front of me! When he got home I tried it. I asked him if when he hugged me if he felt love and he said “NO!” So I said: “Why don’t we try it this way?” When you come into the room and you want a hug ask me “Mom, can I have a hug?” This way I’m prepared and he slows down so not to be coming at me full force. To my amazement I had an INSTANT fix to something that needed desperately to change.
Another suggestion I found from a different source was to ask the child’s permission in such a way that it opens them up for the conversation. Here’s an excerpt:
“If you have something to tell your child about her attitude, effort, support of teammates, or another issue, try asking for her permission. This will make her more open to your feedback. You might say, “There’s something I’ve noticed you could do that would help you be a better teammate. Do you mind if I tell you?” If she answers “no,” you must respect that and wait for other opportunities.”
Do I always remember to think of these suggestions? I’m sorry to say I don’t because day after day parenting 3 boys is challenging, so when I get a slight glimpse of something that makes one of those challenges easier, I use it but I need to work on remembering it more often!
Also, when your child is faced with a situation that can be changed using an easy strategy you may know work, out that strategy with your child so they know how to handle that situation differently next time. First, I’ve learned to not ask a child WHY they did it, they really don’t know why, so focus on HOW they can change it next time. By asking them what they think they can do differently next time, you help guide them towards logical answers. I see it all coming together for my one son now as he thinks ahead and works out what to do when faced with losing his homework on the way to school or having a project due.
Let’s give this a try more often shall we? The end result is much less arguing and how can we argue with that?
The next big issue we face is getting our children to have a better taste palate when it comes to the dinner table and what they chose to or chose not to eat. Never do I make different meals for the kids, when something is put on the table they need to try it and try to finish it. If they can’t then my husband will swap one thing that they like from his plate and eat what they don’t like. In the long run though, I do make the same things here and there so they will see it on the plate again at another time, this time they moan and groan but the same thing happens and with most foods, not all, they end up eventually eating it.
It gives them an array of foods to become familiar with and you have the opportunity to help fight obesity, have enjoyable dinners together, you aren’t stuck making many different meals for everyone at the table and you get really good at hiding such things as lentils in the sauce. Just puree it and no one knows the difference and you have just added more protein to your pasta meal. Do the same with eggplant and other things, just make sure there’s no evidence left behind or seen in the sauce, and also add some pureed beans to the stuffed pepper mixture.
One great recipe I have made that makes fish more fun is cut it up into pieces and bread like nuggets.
Preheat oven at 375°
TIP: By putting the oil in the pan while the oven is heating up you get a great singe to the fish when you add it and it comes out beautiful, but be careful and wear an oven mitt it may splatter!
Use a non- flaky type of fish, I use Orange Roughy.
Shake minced onion, paprika, lemon pepper and garlic powder and breadcrumbs into a plastic bag.
Dip the nuggets into egg and then drop them into the breadcrumbs and shake
Bake at 375° Bake for just under 10 minutes.
I hope this helps you and you find more peace within your family.
Regina Radomski is married with 3 children, one biological son and two older adoptee boys. She lives in East Hanover, NJ where she is the owner of “Fillin’ the Blanks” a resource for solutions before, during and after adoption. More information can be found at http://www.reginaradomski.net