The do-over method is not just for kids, parents can use it too.
I bet you've always thought do-overs are for kids and games. Think again. Do-overs apply to most situations and people, although we really focus here on your relationship with your child.
Do you wish you had handled a situation differently with your teen? You never know what will fly out of your mouth when they give you attitude, rebellion or indifference... or when you are tired or worried. Who you are in the heat of the moment is not who you are an hour or a day later. I admit, I've been known to scream from frustration. I'm needing to be right, or just don't feel heard. Ditto for my kid, right?
It takes a little courage (which means leaving your ego in another room) to come back, after the fact, and bring up the topic again. You won't regret it - promise. What's on the other side of your fear is resolution and understanding. So take that leap. Tell your teen you had some time to think about what happened and what was said. How do you communicate so they don't tune you out?
1) "What I really wanted to say... "
2) "I've been thinking about what happened and I'd like to talk to you again, without arguing or yelling."
3) "I'm calmer now, and I do want to hear what you have to say."
What are the benefits of the do-over?
- You are modeling how people handle conflict and conflict resolution in a productive way. You are your child's most important teacher and they are always watching.
- There is the obvious benefit of improving your relationship with your child. This isn't about being their friend. It's about establishing trust.
- You gain massive credibility when you are humble. Kids are inspired when they see their parents making an effort to grow, adapt and do things differently. If their parents are capable of change (at their seemingly advanced age!), then kids believe change is possible for them, too.
You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. You are showing your kids how people reconcile, discuss their differences and show humility. That sounds like a win-win to me. Start taking advantage of your do-over opportunities.
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