Do you ever have one of those days where you wake up and you feel like everybody got up on the wrong side of the bed? Like everyone is having a bad attitude, nobody is getting along. You’re irritated, the kids are fighting, your spouse is frustrated and you just look around your house and noticed everything that’s wrong and out of place.
Nothing seems to be going right and it just continues into a downward spiral. You feel like hiding in your closet or just jumping in the car and heading to Target or Chick fil A, or Starbucks just to escape the mad chaos happening in your house. Maybe you’re wondering if that’s just normal every day for you to feel in this state of chaos. I’m here today to bring you good news and share with you eight ways that you can reset bad attitudes in your family and set yourself up for success. I call this the family reset as sometimes we get in a bit of a funk and we just need a reset. So, if you are ready, let’s get right into today’s episode.
# 1: Create a Solid Morning Routine
The most important thing you can do when you notice things are going crazy in your home is to to check in with your self-care. Are you taking care of yourself first? If the answer is no, you need a solid morning routine where you’re able to get done the things you want before your kiddos wake up.
When I realized my self-care was lacking one simple change that I made in my morning routine, was to charge my cell phone in a different room. This is huge, because when I wake up without a screen, and when I go to bed without a screen, I have much more clarity on what I want to accomplish in my morning and evening routine.
Make sure that when you are resetting those bad attitudes, you start with yourself first as it’s important that you as mom feel regulated, feel less irritable and can handle other people’s bad attitudes so much better when you yourself are taken care of.
# 2: Create a Morning Routine with your Kids
If you’re listening to this now and your kiddos are in school, this is going to be crucial, but also a little bit harder. So, take what I’m about to say and just shorten it. For me and my family, we homeschool, so my kids and I have more time together. So, what I like to do is I wake up in the morning and I prepare breakfast for all of us. My son is usually awake first and my daughter usually wakes up much later. So, my son and I will eat breakfast together and then he and I will have special time together. Then when my daughter wakes up, she’ll eat her breakfast and then she and I will have special time together.
Special time is just 10 minutes of one-on-one attention doing whatever it is that they choose to do. Then when I’ve had time to spend with them individually, we do together time. They each grab three of their favorite books, bring them to the couch and we just sit and read.
There’s just something about spending that special time and that together time together that sets just the day off for success.
If you don’t have a lot of time in the morning, think about doing this in the evening, maybe when your kiddos come home from school. So, you would do like snack time and then you would do individual time with your kiddos. Maybe while one of them is working on homework, you go have that one on one time with the other and then come together and read books or go play catch at the park as a family. Find ways and pockets of time that you can spend one on one and together as a group with your kids doing something that they love to do. When you give your kiddos the attention that they need in a positive way, they are so much more compliant.
# 3: Seek to Understand Your Child
I feel like there is something so simple about that statement that we fail to miss. As parents, we are so wrapped up in what we have to do that we become drill sergeants. We are so much more concerned with correcting our children than we are with connecting with them and so that obviously creates a bad attitude.
Put yourself in your kiddos shoes and imagine what it is like to be them
You have this authority figure who is always telling you what to do and what not to do and you just constantly feel like you’re on a battlefield. If we are able to put ourselves in their shoes and see from their perspective what’s happening and what we are asking of them, it makes a lot more sense as to why they don’t always listen when we speak right away.
It’s really important that you ask clarifying questions, that you ask them, hey, what are you interested in right now that’s making it really hard for you to listen to me? If you just take 20 seconds to show a little interest in what they’re doing, they will be more likely to listen to you when you ask them to do something. We just need to take time to understand things from their perspective.
When I’m giving you these eight ways to reset bad attitudes, this works with your husbands as well. I used to get really irritated with my husband, when he goes to sleep at night, he puts his shirt over top of our noise machine. Every morning when I would go to make the bed, I would see his shirt thrown on the nightstand and my initial thought was like, he’s so lazy! Why did he do that??
Then when I asked him, like why is your shirt always on the noise machine, he said, there’s an annoying light that is so bright when he tries to sleep. He puts his shirt over it, so that it doesn’t illuminate and make it hard for him to sleep. Now that I understand why he does that, it doesn’t bother me anymore.
So, seeking to understand, the reason why someone does something gives us way more patience and it’s really important that we take the time to do that.
# 4: Give More Control-Say Yes More Often
Kids need positive attention and they also need positive control. So, when your kiddos are being really defiant and they are just not listening, that means that they are crying for more control. To give positive control, you can use something simple like choices.
Giving your child choices such as:
- Would you like the red cup, or do you want the blue cup?
- Do you want to take your bath before dinner or after dinner?
Giving those choices helps kiddos feel like they are in control and that is really important for kids to feel like they have a say in their day. Again, put yourself in their shoes, how would you feel if you had to follow a strict set of rules all the time and you couldn’t just be who you were? Now, of course, I’m not saying like it’s a free for all as there’s rules, boundaries and expectations. But as often as you can, give your child the choice of how they get the task done and then say yes as often as possible.
It’s really hard, but once you get into the rhythm of this, it’s easy to see things from your kids perspective where you can say, okay, this is a bit inconvenient for me but I see that this is so important for you, so we can’t do that right now, but here’s when we can.
You’re not saying no never, you’re just saying no, not right now, here’s the best time we can do that. You can even help your kids to kind of vision cast with you. So, if your kids say they want to have a cookie bake sale, instead of shooting down their idea, ask them questions about how they would carry out their plan. What kind of cookies do you have in mind? Where would you set up the table? How much money do you think it would cost to buy the supplies? Do you want to get a piece of paper and you want to start writing this out?
Eventually, they’re going to see that it takes more time to do the thing than just go selling cookies at the park. Allowing your kiddos control and to have a say in what happens is going to be so impactful.
# 5: Allow Kids to Have a Say in the Family Schedule
On Sundays, is a really great day to plan out the week. Ask your kiddos what they want to do this week and give them some different options if they’re having a hard time coming up with something. Or give them some parameters if they are coming up with wild ideas like let’s drive to Disneyland tomorrow. This is so important because again, it’s giving your child control over what’s happening.
Ask questions such as:
- Are there any friends that you would like me to schedule a playdates with?
- Is there anywhere that you would like to go that has been on your mind or that you’ve thought about?
- Is there anything you’d like to d that we haven’t been able to do lately?
This is so important because it allows your kiddos to practice what it is like to be an adult, because when you’re an adult, you have to think of these things in advance. You don’t always have to be in charge of coming up with the family outing ideas, give your kiddos the control, and the support in order to find these really fun ideas and activities.
# 6: Shift Perspective to Gratitude
Each of my kiddos have a joy jar. I printed out little strips of paper that said, today I found joy when … and every night before bed, they’re able to write down one thing that they found joy in the day from. Then at the end of the week, or at the beginning of the week, however you plan to do this, you read your joy jar with each other. This is just something that I feel really helps shift those bad attitudes, because then you can really think about what went well today. Instead of focusing on what didn’t go well, what went well today.
Another thing that we like to do at the dinner table is we used to play the Rosebud Thorn game. Basically, your rose is your favorite part of the day. Your bud is something that you’re looking forward to tomorrow and your Thorn is something that you either need help with, support with, or that didn’t go well that day. So, you take turns and you go around the table and as a family each answer that question. This just really helps you see how the day was perceived from other people’s perspective. It gives you that patience and that understanding to really empathize with them.
# 7: Get Outside More Often
Sometimes all it takes is to walk to the park, hop in the car and drive to a park, or get on your bikes or your rollerblades and just go around the neighborhood. Just get outside of the house and allow your kiddos to experience life outside. There is something naturally therapeutic about being outside in God’s nature, that really helps lift moods and spirits. Sometimes when my son is having a difficult time, I will ask him to go outside and play, then I’ll join him afterwards. Sometimes I really do not want to go out there with him as I am in a horrible mood. But I know that if I take five minutes to deep breathe and have a little distance from him, I know that this is exactly what we need and so I just suck it up and do it.
Honestly, sometimes that’s what parenting is all about. You might not feel like you’re in the mood to go read to your child after they just called you a name, disrespected you or disobeyed you. We don’t naturally want to be kind to our child when they were just so rude to us.
As parents, we’re supposed to show that grace to our kiddos, letting them know that we all make mistakes. That we’re there for them and we love them and that our love is unconditional just like God’s love for us and we are not going to withhold our love because of their disobedience.
Sometimes I really have to bite my tongue and not what I am thinking in my head, because it’s not kind or uplifting, and it’s not going to help the situation. So, getting outside and moving your body is the perfect remedy for chaos in the family as movement helps your brain regulate and go from fight or flight chaos to a regulated flow state.
# 8: Clarify Expectations
The next strategy you can use to reset bad attitudes is to take sure that your kiddos and your spouse knows exactly what is expected. Often lines of communication are blurred and we forget to clarify what we mean. It’s really important to have our kiddos repeat back what we say, so that we know that they heard us. To take this a step further, write down these expectations. If it’s something like a morning routine, or an evening routine, or something that has a lot of steps to it, creating a visible checklist that you can laminate and check off with a whiteboard marker and reuse every single day.
I think sometimes we as moms feel like everybody can process information at the same speed we can and to the same level of detail and that’s just not the case. So, it’s really important that everybody knows what’s expected, and that it’s age appropriate.
Let’s revisit these 8 strategies to reset these bad attitudes. Which one will you plan to implement first?
- Create or rearrange your morning routine and make sure that you are taking care of yourself.
- Create a morning routine with your kids that includes connection. This can be an after school routine, where you have one on one connection time with your kiddos and also together time.
- Seek to understand. This will help increase patience, and empathy so much when you understand your child and your spouse.
- Give more control and say yes more often.
- Allow your kiddos to have a say in the schedule.
- Shift your perspective to gratitude.
- Get outside more often and move your body
- Clarify expectations
I am so interested to hear how this family reset helps shift the mood in your home and hopefully eliminate some of these bad attitudes. If you found value in today’s episode, I would highly appreciate it. If you would take a screenshot of it, share it out on Instagram and tag me @thepurposgathering. And also, if you could leave me a review on iTunes, that would be incredible. I know that iTunes pushes out my podcast to more mamas just like you when my show has higher ratings. Thank you so much for tuning in. I cannot wait until next time and as always Mama, I am here rooting for you and you are not alone on this journey.
I am always here rooting for you. And you are not alone on this journey!!
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