Take a Load Off
“The quickest way for a parent to get a child’s attention is to sit down and look comfortable.” (Lane Olinghouse)
Is it me, or is that small sigh of relief you release into the living room atmosphere as you settle into the couch with a magazine like some sort of powerful dog whistle to children? Maybe it’s because they’re used to being the center of attention. Or maybe they’re so accustomed to hearing our voices telling them what to do (or what not to do) that they don’t know how to handle silence.
Regardless, don’t let it stop you from relaxing on a regular basis. It’s important for you to do, and it’s important for them to see you doing it. Knowing how to relax is one of the most important coping skills a grown-up can have.
So, when they come running with a Lego emergency or a laundry disaster, it’s perfectly acceptable to tell them that you’re not available at the moment. If you jump every time they “need” something, they’ll come to expect that from you more and more. Remember: You are the adult. They’re watching you to learn what adults do.
Now, go take a load off, will ya?