In a coaching session, Karen shared that their family’s weekly schedule seemed to take them captive every Sunday night. Lilly, their third-grader, unofficially declared it “Moan and groan about Monday morning” time. The whole family would get drawn into her dramatic, despairing proclamations about the boredom and frustration that awaited her the next day. Parental injunctions to shape up that attitude exacerbated the problem because Lilly felt invalidated and became more determined to make her point. With everyone else also feeling a milder version of the pre-Monday blues, the scent of crankiness wafted throughout their home.
Karen realized that Lilly was a sensitive, intense child, for whom the Sunday to Monday transition was genuinely difficult. As Karen processed how she might meet the need driving the misbehavior, she decided to work with her daughter’s sensitivities instead of against them. She joined Lilly in problem-solving the challenge. “Sunday night is a hard time in our family. What could we do that would make it something we look forward to?” They decided to connect with sort of a “spa time” together every Sunday night.
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Later Karen wrote, “Lilly LOVES the Sunday night routine to kick off her week. The massage, lavender oil and special book we have picked out have been a huge success!”
A little compassion and proactive effort has now wafted the aroma of love and lavender in their home on Sunday nights. Much more pleasant for everyone! A great time of connection. And a valuable lesson for Lilly in overcoming challenges.
Apply it Now:
- What are some situations in which your child feels stressed or overwhelmed, and misbehaves?
- How could you engage your child in problem-solving what to do about that? Is there a pleasant activity that could keep them focused and calm during it? i.e. Sing a song as all your little ones march out to the car, make a fruit shake for your teen to sip thru a straw (improving their focus) while studying, favorite music as kids wake up in the morning, etc.