I’m going to take a break from my studying as really I can only read so much about butterfly valves before my mind goes numb.
See? Not the most exciting thing in the world. I just read 45 pages on valves and began to check out. Which gave me the idea to check in.
Checking in is a valuable parenting skill (or marriage skill) that most people neglect to use. I’ll be honest I don’t check in nearly enough and it causes tension between myself and my children.
I grew up in a house where teasing was a thing, a way of showing attention to someone else, a way of showing love. So as a result I tease, too much.
Sarah and our children don’t handle teasing well. If I don’t check in often enough it quickly leads to hurt feelings.
Check-in by paying attention to faces, sounds, and actions. Asking questions is a powerful way to gauge how someone is feeling. Sometimes you assume you know what’s happening and without checking in continue on not changing what you’re doing and before you know it the situation has turned around completely.
We teach our children to pay attention to “no noises” as when frustrations build words aren’t the easiest thing to use. We remind them to pay attention to all aspects of someones behaviour to ensure they’re still having fun in the situation.
I find it important to check in with my kids at least once a day, I usually begin with a simple “How’s your day?” or “What did you do today?” from there I can get an idea of how they’re feeling and expand the conversation from there.
Sarah has taken to ending the day with questions like “Did you learn anything today?” “Did anything surprise you today?” “What didn’t go so well today?” All fantastic questions to begin the checking in process.
It’s been a difficult adjustment for me but I feel that I connect a lot more with Sarah and the kids, arguments are less and less frequent, and overall our interactions are heading toward #unforgettable every day!