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kindergarten teacher, sun lover, scorpio-introvert, dog mom, obsessed with low-tox living. Hoping to help you parent your littles, make some clean swaps, & simply live your best life.

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10/19/2021

Break the Cycle of Repeating Yourself

I talk about this topic pretty regularly because I found it to be one of the most time consuming, annoying things I experienced as a teacher. Additionally, it’s something every parent said they’d LOVE to change. It really feels like all day long we’re just repeating ourselves constantly. It’s so exhausting and I don’t know about you, but I’d love to use that energy elsewhere. As a kindergarten teacher, I figured out how to break this cycle and I’m sharing my hack with you!

The first step is recognizing that it’s really up to you. Yes, YOU! How great is that?!?! Something that’s in your control. YOU have the power to make this change in your home. Like all changes, it takes effort, energy and time, but with commitment it’ll give you all of those things back. All you have to do is stop repeating yourself — stick with me and I’ll tell you exactly how to do that.

Example:

Your child is playing on the swings and it’s almost time to go. 

  • You say “in 2 minutes we’re leaving the park”
  • In 2 minutes when you tell your child it’s time to go, they keep swinging. 
  • You tell them again “It’s time to go NOW. Get off the swing. Can you stop swinging? Come on. Can you come to the car?”
  • Child keeps ignoring and swinging
  • You tell them again “we need to go now, can you please get off the swings”

Let me break down this scenario:

You’ve unintentionally given your child so many outs and no accountability. Second, you’ve just taught them that when they ignore instructions you’ll simply repeat them until they are ready to follow them. Third, your child is ignoring your instructions for a reason and repeating instructions does nothing to move them forward. So much happening there that most parents don’t even realize.

Here’s how I would set up and navigate the whole scenario instead: 

  • “In 2 minutes it’s time for us to leave the park”
  • “I’m setting the timer on my phone. When it goes off we’ll stop swinging and go to the car. Make sense?”
  • Tell when there are 10 seconds left & count them down together. Or don’t, do whatever works for your kid(s).
  • When the timer goes off say “the timer is going off, do you hear that?! What’s that mean again?” 
  • Child says “It’s time to go”
  • “Yep, you’ve got it! Good remembering. Are you going to stop the swing on your own or do you want my help?”
  • “Look at you stopping on your own” 

Now, let me break this down so you can recreate it:

SET UP FOR SUCCESS: Tell how much time (2 mins), tell the thing that indicates when time’s up (timer), tell expected behavior when indicator goes off (stop swinging + go to car), and confirm your child understands.

  • “In 2 minutes it’s time for us to leave the park”
  • “I’m setting the timer on my phone. When it goes off we’ll stop swinging and go to the car. Make sense?”

PREP: You’ve already given instructions and a warning, now you’re giving them a second warning that’s closer to the end time. Counting down together can create excitement and enthusiasm at a time when they might normally feel sad (understandably). 

  • Tell when there are 10 seconds left & count them down together Or don’t, do whatever works for your kid(s).

RESPONSIBILITY: Include your child. YOU are not the indicator, your phone timer is. Asking your child if they hear the timer puts responsibility on them, which most kids love! This helps them feel more empowered and leads to them being more likely to follow instructions because now they feel like they’re part of them. 

  • When the timer goes off say “the timer is going off, do you hear that?! What’s that mean again?” 
  • Child says “It’s time to go”

KEEP THINGS MOVING: You’re not overly praising here, you’re simply communicating they’re right on track. By giving choices about stopping the swing you’re helping them to keep thinking about the next step while also empowering them by giving them a choice. 

  • “Yep, you’ve got it! Good remembering. Are you going to stop the swing on your own or do you want my help?”
  • “Look at you stopping on your own” 

One last time: set up for success, prep, responsibility, keep things moving.

Alright, you’re ready to give this a go!! Remember: stick to it, refer back to this post when you get stuck, and email me with any questions. Hop over and follow me on Instagram for daily tips!

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