April brings about a time honored ritual of Spring Cleaning; removing clutter, deep clean-up, window cleaning, getting rid of the dust bunnies even under the rug, throwing out or recycling old unused stuff, tidying the garage, even polishing the silver (if you have any!) How about this year – SPRING CLEAN YOURSELF AND YOUR FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS!
Imagine removing damaging conversations, de-cluttering toxic thinking, dusting the cobwebs of any lingering resentments or anger with your children, recycling the positive qualities of your relationships, tidying up your plans about chores or family responsibilities….you get it! Taking care and accepting responsibility concerning family relationships is PRIORITY #1 in The Stay Connected Challenge.
SPRING CLEAN YOUR SELF FIRST
OK, let’s get to work…on our own selves… first. As a family coach, I tell myself each day that “I am my own first client.” That means that change starts here and I accept responsibility for my thoughts, feelings, actions and the creation of my family relationships.
Parenting and running a family is not only about organizing logistics, shopping, laundry, cooking, transportation, chores, teaching manners and good behaviors – it is also about taking care of yourself! You must be at your best, both inwardly and outwardly in order to be the best parent, spouse and family member. You are also your own “first client.”
Here are some daily practices that are easy to do for getting started:
- SITTING: Take 5-10 minutes…yes you can find 5-10 MINUTES a day to sit and do nothing. Sit straight in a chair, hand on belly and just breathe. Set the timer.
- THINK POSITIVE: Give yourself positive affirmations – write out 10 and post on the fridge. Here is a starter one: “I honor my role in my family and I respect myself for the way I go about it.”
- GET MOVING: Walk, run or otherwise MOVE for even a simple 10 minutes a day. Do it for yourself, not for others.
SPRING CLEAN YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR FAMILY
Detoxify your language, your communication and your conversations. Here are some ideas to add to your daily practices to get you on course.
- Cut out the poem “A Message to Parents” and tape up on the fridge or bathroom mirror. Read it out loud to yourself each day.
- Eliminate any yelling, screaming, arguing or otherwise “violent communication” from your own speech patterns. Replace it with silence, listening to the family member who is speaking, or calm and affirming language….I know this is hard so do not forget to take a few deep breaths. You are NOT required to react to negative or violent communication. Leave the room if you can.
- Remove any toxic media from your home. Negativity breeds more of it.
- Put down the cell phone at all times when interacting with your kids.
- Think of other personal and family relationship SPRING CLEANING actions and do them!
- Get the whole family involved with “Spring Cleaning our Family Relationships” Make it a fun and creative project and respect all contributions.
IS IT WORTH IT?
We all live in a toxic world both out there in the world and even in our own homes. Dust and dirt are only part of what keeps up from Staying Connected. Coach yourself, teach yourself and otherwise step up into a path of continuous emotional and spiritual detoxification. The world brings chaos and challenge and takes us off course. Parenting and family connection require unwavering commitment to creating a healthy, sacred home life. It is worth it!
The “Stay Connected Challenge™”
with the Parent as Coach Approach
A Message to Parents
If you Respect me,
I will hear you.
If you Listen to me,
I will feel understood.
If you Understand me,
I will feel appreciated.
If you Appreciate me,
I will know your support.
If you Support me as I try new things,
I will become responsible.
When I am Responsible,
I will grow to be independent.
In my Independence,
I will respect you and love you all of my life.
Diana Sterling is the author of The Parent as Coach Approach, 2008 White Oak Publishing. She is a Certified Family Coach and developer and instructor of Family Coach Training at Relationship Coaching Institute as well as wife, mother and step-mother. Visit www.dianasterling.com and get your FREE full copy of her ground-breaking work The Parent as Coach Approach in e-book form where these practical tools and many more are explained in detail on how your desire to create connected, loving kids as they become healthy teenagers and young adults.