Your company, HOA, church, family, club, school, etc. will do more in 2018. They will add to what they’re already doing. And they will not stop doing anything. It’s what we all naturally do.
Doing more and more makes you feel like you’re accomplishing something. And it makes you look normal.
Doing more and more really just makes you busier. You’re just doing more on top of what you were already doing.
Decide to do less in 2018!
Do less in your own life. Simplify. Focus. Stop. Say no.
Help your child do less. They do not have to be signed up for something.
Help your family do less. Make sure you have time that is not scheduled.
So…not your typical Christmas post. Hope that’s ok. I think you’ll like it.
Is there an easier time of the year to tell your kid that you and your wife (aka their mommy) need to go into the bedroom and lock the door? Nope!
Tell them you need to talk about presents.
Tell them you need to wrap presents.
Tell them you need to talk about your Christmas plans.
Go in your room, lock the door, and…you’re welcome.
You know what I’m talking about.
We have three kids. Two know. Our youngest believes.
What do you do when one kid knows about Santa and the other believes in Santa? Here are 2 ideas…
Have fun with it. Let the kid who knows have fun being in on it. Let them give input on some Santa gifts and/or pick out some candy for the stockings. When Santa comes up in conversations, give them a wink.
Use it as an opportunity to teach responsibility. The kid who knows now has a big responsibility. They know a big secret that is okay to keep. Help them understand why they should not tell their sibling. Make them feel like a big-shot for handling this responsibility well.
Q: Why does the Christmas season feel more stressful than other times of the year?
A: You have less margin (free space) in your schedule, finances, patience, etc.
Less Margin = More Stress
Want some ways to make this Christmas less stressful?
Do some things for your wife that you normally do not do…shop, bake, plan, etc. Reducing your spouse’s stress will reduce your stress.
Spend the majority of your time with your family. Schedule time to do things with just your family…look at Christmas lights, stay home and watch a Christmas movie, stay home and do nothing, play together, go to a movie, etc.
Spend less money. It’s possible.
Don’t say yes to every invitation you receive. They’ll still be your friend after the holidays.
Keep up your healthy habits…exercise, eat well, read, sleep, etc.
Your kid will do all kinds of things that surprise you. Some good. Some bad.
When they do something they should not do, there needs to be a consequence.
Some of us dads…me…are quick to just pronounce a consequence.
These pronouncements are usually not thought out well and drastic. They can be just as surprising as the kid’s action.
Instead of pronouncing some quick discipline,…
cool off…take your time…and think about a consequence that will actually help your kid make better decisions in the future.
have a calm conversation with your kid about what they did and why there has to be a consequence.
Don’t discipline / give a consequence in the heat of the moment unless you absolutely must.
Need an example of what not to do? Here’s a clip of my favorite dad Phil Dunphy:
You’re going to be around family and friends this week.
You want your child to be on their best behavior. After all, you want their perfect behavior to reflect what a perfect dad you are.
But…kids are kids. And they are far from perfect…at least mine are. And kids need to be allowed to be kids.
When your child acts less-than-perfect, your stress level goes up. And when your stress level rises, well, that’s not good for anyone.
You feel like you look like a bad dad.
Maybe, and this is not always the case, but maybe, we set them up to act less-than-perfect. We set them up to fail.
Help your child not embarrass you this Thanksgiving by…
not keeping them in one spot for too long.
having realistic expectations in your mind.
realizing you cannot control other’s expectations of your child. And don’t care about their expectations.
giving your child time to act like a child.
giving them permission to be less-than-perfect.
limiting the amount of time your child has to act like a mini-adult.
making it your goal to create special memories…not pretending to be the perfect dad.
We all want a kid who is responsible.
But leading our kid to be responsible is harder than we think.
Most kids are not walking around looking for responsibility.
And let’s be honest…we like feeling needed. And we like doing things our way on our time.
Here is the 1 step to having a responsible kid:
Give your kid responsibilities.
Add more responsibilities as they get older.
Have consequences when they are not responsible with their responsibilities.
There is no topic that you should not talk about with your kid.
The goal is to one day find yourself in a conversation with them and think to yourself…I cannot believe we’re talking about this!
Start talking about everything when they’re young.
Talk about things that make you uncomfortable.
Talk about things you don’t know about.
Learn to not show your shock or discomfort when you talk about topics you don’t want to talk about.
Let your child drive most conversations…the topics they want to talk about, when they want to talk about it, etc.
Yes, get ready to talk about topics like…
what their friends are doing
all things gross
the opposite sex
Your conversations now and in the future will build a strong relationship with your child.
What is your child afraid of?
Help them overcome their fears…
Let your kid know it’s ok to have fears. Let them know what you’re afraid of.
Stand next to them while they face their fear. But don’t conquer their fear for them.
Encourage them. Let them know that you believe in them.
Help them believe that they can do hard things.
Celebrate when they conquer a fear.
When they face a new fear, remind them of the times in the past when they conquered a fear.
Lead them to become teens and adults who face and overcome their fears.
What do you do that you do not want anyone to find out about?
Things kept in the dark are dangerous for you and your child.
Things kept in the dark control you…even if you think you control them.
Things kept in the dark are hurting you…even if you think they’re helping you.
“It won’t hurt anyone as long as they don’t find out.” is a lie.
The sooner you bring what you’re doing to the light, the less consequences there will be.