Having a child (or spouse) that is easily distracted can bring out feelings of frustration, resentment and confusion that can end up being expressed with anger.
The first step is to understand your own emotional triggers and the second is to realize that your child or spouse has an overabundance of ideas that makes focusing a challenge for them.
As you are working on your quieting and controlling your own inner-turmoil, try these strategies to create a distraction-free home:
- Look for ways to simplify daily routines and solve problems
- Be supportive, loving and cooperative (especially when stressed)
- Try to avoid too much “sweating the details”, focusing on “perfection” or hyper-focusing on mistakes
- Learn to laugh about distraction—emphasize more what family members do right
- Believe that it’s OK to be different from each other (in organization, cleaning, etc.) and OK to be oneself
- Make sure to spend time enjoying each other, not just focusing on problems and things left undone.
Creating a distraction-free home doesn’t mean that you make sure everything is done right!
And be aware and be careful of resentment building up because you are taking on too much to make up for other family members disorganization.
It isn’t just about accepting things the way they are, and definitely not about you taking on the role of sole-organizer. The key is to find a common middle-ground of acceptance, empathy and understanding.
Teach your child that their inner turmoil can be worked with and solutions can be found.
You want them to learn coping skills for a successful life. Try saying “I realize that your mind is so full of ideas that it is hard to focus. Let’s work together on ways to manage those thoughts, put them together in a way that makes you feel more calm and in control, so you can always feel good about yourself.”
Their success begins with you believing in them.
What are ways that you create a supportive home to the highly distracted child or adult?
©2013 Cynthia Klein, Bridges 2 Understanding, has been a Certified Parent Educator since 1994. She works with parents and organizations who want more cooperation, mutual respect and understanding between adults and children of all ages. Cynthia presents her expertise through speaking and private parenting coaching sessions. She is a member of the National Speakers Association and writes the Middle School Mom column for the Parenting on the Peninsula magazine. She works with parents of 4 – 24 year-old children. Contact Cynthia at bridges2understa.wpstagecoach.com, cynthia@bridges2understanding,com, or 650. 679.8138 to learn more about creating the relationship you want with your children.