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Remove the "You" from Parenting

It's just so easy. When I walk in the house and the music is blaring, the kitchen is a mess and there's stuff everywhere the first thing I want to do is yell. "Turn it down! Clean up this mess! Keep your voices down!" The abrupt adjustment into the chaos of the scene is just too much for me. If I've walked in from a chaotic day myself, at times the words that want to erupt from my mouth are, "What's wrong with you?"

I'm grateful that at this point, even in that difficult moment, it's not at all about them. It's only about me. If I'm being honest with myself, all of my sensitivity is about me. Because I'm the parent, I can demand that they change.

Removing the "You" from parenting is really simple. It's you, the parent who actually has to fess up. That's right. Get in touch with your feelings and tell your kid! What does that look like? Well, in the scene above it would sound like this:

"Hi girls! Can you turn it down a sec so I can talk to you? So, I had a long day and I'm a bit tired. I was looking forward to coming home to a bit of quiet. If you guys can turn it down a bit and start cleaning up, I'll go upstairs and rest a bit. Then we can start making dinner together. Sound good?"

Yes, I want them to change their behavior but I really made it clear that it's because of the way I'm feeling in the moment. We are all one family sharing one space. I'm not only sharing with them how I'm feeling and how my day is going, but also leaving space for them to respect where I'm at. I took out the finger pointing or the "you".

Make sense?

Now you try. Think of some of the typical "you" statements that you often say to your kids. These are the things that are driving you nuts at that moment. Maybe you hate how their room is so messy (close the door - it's not about you). Or you sit down on the couch and they keep clicking their pen. The longer you sit, the more annoyed you become. Sure, you can ask them to stop but make sure that you tell them that it's because of YOUR sensitivity. They aren't wrong or bad for their actions.

Once you have your "you" statements gathered up, write them down. Now change them. Make them "me" statements. "I'd like you to do X because I'm feeling Y." Then - PRACTICE. Because parenting is hard and change takes practice.

Be loved,


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