How many things do the average adult and then the average parent “have to” say yes to today? It seems the typical person I know, whether a stay at home parent or a full-time working parent is split and pulled in more directions than humanly possible. I would like to share with you one recent article’s very good take on a powerful two lettered word and New Year’s resolutions to remedy this issue. The word is, “No!”
The folks at PBS Parents offer an article that looks at five “no oriented resolutions” in an article titled ‘Saying No: The Best New Year’s Resolution for Parents.’ The first NO-oriented resolution deals with over committing. For whatever reason you over commit, a parent really needs to ask herself if what she is doing is something that is best serving your family’s goals and belief system. If it is not, perhaps this is something that can be let go. For example, you might have a chance to sit on your school’s PTA. It demands a one hour time commitment, twice a month, not withstanding extra events. With a desire to lend your voice to your child’s school environment, this may measure high on your priority list. Whereas your commitment to an adult sports team, that pulls you out of the house for a view hours, every week might not rank high. —Fun but not high.
The next NO-oriented resolution lies with work. Don’t be a door mat at work! If you are scheduled to leave work at a certain time because you are committed to eat dinner together as a family or getting to your child’s soccer game, do not be deterred! Whereas you want to demonstrate an attitude of always helping to solve problems or issues that arise at work, says negations coach, Jim Camp, author of “The Negotiation Tools That the Pros Don’t Want You To Know’,” you want to establish clear expectations and limits with your boss at the outset, and agreement on a reasonable time frame to complete job assignments, says Carolyn Semedo, founder of the Enterprising Moms. In addition, she advises to steer away from too many personal details about your out of office commitments, and sticking to them. Honor these commitments and protect your family and work balance.
A third related resolution is saying NO to information overload. We are so wired today in our society. Every text, e-mail, or phone call can see of the utmost importance, to the point where it really eats into our personal time with our families. My pet peeve is the phone that seems to scream during dinner time. It goes ignored! The article reminds us that just as we have trained others we will respond promptly, we can also train them that we will reach them from home when we can. I might add, embrace silence. If you are always plugged in, unplug in your house at least part of the day. We can hear each other much better when the television, computer, and cell phone are put aside for some of the time, everyday.
Another NO resolution the article discusses is not losing your cool with your kids. Whereas every parent has their moment, they can also choose not to react when a bad moment arises. Charlotte Reznick, psychiatrist, psychotherapist, and author of the book “ The Power of Your Child’s Imagination: How to Transform Stress and Anxiety into Joy and Success,” says parents need to calm themselves before they react to the problem and refuse to take bait, when your children are trying your patience. For example, she advises short, simple answers for reigning in a whining preschooler, as this is more on par with their undeveloped thinking skills.
Lastly, the article discusses saying no to parental guilt. When I was pregnant with my first child, someone once reminded that in an emergency situation, a mother needs to reach for her oxygen mask first so she can help her child in the situation. The same holds true with family life. We must take care of ourselves as parents, so we are good for our children. If playing on that before mentioned sports team leaves you fresh, healthy, and able to better parent your child, maybe it needs to rank high on your priority list. It is not a crime to put sometime into your own interests, just a juggling act! We must remember that we are our children’s first teacher and whether we realize it or not, we are modeling for them everything we would like them to be. I for one, would like my child to be able to say NO as parent and a healthy adult….