My dress was ready.
The uniform was looking sharp!
I’d found the cute bag and matching shoes. We were ready for the ball. It was on my electronic calendar but somehow it didn’t get written on the family calendar. We were ready for the ball but the kids had no idea that their Friday night was about to be hijacked. Friday night in our home is family night. It’s not surprising then that on Thursday during a casual conversation about the ball did we not realize the emotional tsunami to come.
A complete oversight. Caught on the hop. Three annoyed boys.
The next night didn’t go so well. Two sullen boys and one happy boy left with very overdressed and apprehensive parents.
Two were embracing the phrase: Misery loves company and the other was just in his happy place, much to the frustration of his brothers. After hurried and whispered exchanges with the wonderful caregivers, we left. Hopeful that they would get it together or keep it together and that once the object of their frustration, namely us, was gone that they might have a reasonable, indeed a good time.
As much as possible we prefer to preview with our children as it makes life a lot easier. Previewing is when you talk about what’s going to happen before it happens to discuss likely ways that things might happen or ways that you might behave depending on what’s going on. We’ve found previewing an excellent way to answer all those questions and reassure the children of choices they can make and remind them of our expectations.
We’d failed to do that with the ball and we felt it.
- When you set high expectations we try and reach them. When we set no expectations there’s nothing we have to aim for and we use the knowledge we have which may not be what we’d like to see our children do.
- Takes away the anxiety of a new situation less likely to act out, flip out or blurt out.
- Gives children a chance to process without the pressure of the situation and plan. E.g. bring resources, defer gratification , do something different now etc.
- Allows them to learn how to plan their time and not be whisked away at a moments notice. (Respectful of time)
- Allows them to prepare, manage expectations and be at peace with the situation.
- We are all clear on setting our family boundaries and outlining expectations.
- We’re together on this. There’s no misunderstandings. Children have a lot to remember. Bringing things to the top of our minds.
It’s a respectful family habit.
We maynot like to go or do somethings but give us a little time we can manage ourselves and get it done. We need to model this process with our families. Previewing supports this uneasy transition and encourages family harmony and flow.
Find out next how to use previewing in your family and establish another awesome family habit.
For more ideas on family atmosphere and family flows follow this Pinterest board