3 Steps To Take With Your Children - Step 2

Step 2: A Step Back

I find myself, on occasion, holding books and other various items with small print further away from me these days. I have also been known to borrow my wife’s Mary Engelbreit reading glasses so I don’t order the wrong thing at a restaurant. My point is this. Sometimes we are to close to see things clearly.

In order to gain perspective we may need to back up to get a better picture. Stepping back from our kids does not mean withdrawing from them. It just means gaining a new perspective or a more in focus picture. For example, your child’s room is a mess. Wait, is always a mess. You have tried repeatedly to get them to clean their room but somehow the clothes, the toys, the papers, the whatever seem to never get back to the place from which they came.

Why? Easy answer, I don’t know. What I do know is sometimes, as parents, we can make too big of a deal out of a messy room. (My virtual hand is raised). I am not condoning a messy room, I am curious about stepping back to see the bigger picture. Why is their room messy? Or, Why does it bother you that their room is messy?

Here are some additional thoughts and questions I have had over the years.

  • Maybe they didn’t have enough time to make it to the hamper.
  • Are they just Lazy?
  • Perhaps they have Executive Function Disorder. (Yes it’s real)
  • Didn’t I teach them to put the clothes in the hamper?
  • Maybe I’m just a bad parent.

Our kids are older now and in college and if there is one thing I can tell you it’s this. I miss their messy rooms. Their rooms are clean, neat and tidy and that only means one thing, they aren’t there. I would rather have a messy room with a kid in it than a clean room with them out of it.

Maybe a step back will create some healthy space to see a bigger picture, a more clear picture. If their room is really that messy you can take the approach Mary and I did several years ago…close the door to their room. Problem solved.

Photo Credit: shutterstock.com Image ID: 420635266 c pliona