In our parent community, Resilience-Based Parenting,™ we help kids develop a strategy called “floating.”
This strategy is equally as valuable for adults as it is for kids, so in today’s Self-Care Sunday tip, we encourage you to be a floater.
Being a floater means that you float amongst various social groups. You have friends from work, friends from college, and friends from the rock-climbing gym.
This resilience skill helps kids avoid friendship drama and adjust when friendship dynamics become difficult or unpleasant, or when certain friends simply are not available.
By the time we are adults, the friendship drama is (hopefully) resolved. But being a floater is helpful for adults for other reasons.
First, different friends “match” different parts of our personalities. You might have friends who love to exercise, and this encourages the part of you that wants to stay healthy. You might have friends who are highly...
Conversations are the backbone of a relationship. Conversations that are deep and authentic result in relationships that are close and long-lasting. When kids know how to have great conversations, they can build strong, supportive relationships.
Knowing how to have great conversations is a skill—one that can be learned. A good way to start teaching this skill is to teach your kids to ask great questions.
When kids learn how to ask great questions, they can start interesting conversations. And perhaps more importantly, they can start new friendships. Great questions get people talking. They invite people to open up and they allow the questioner to show that they actually care about the answer—that they are really listening.
If your children learn this skill, they will be perceived by their peers as interesting, curious, and engaging. They might also become the allies to the shy kids, who will deeply appreciate someone taking the time to...
Often, when our relationships end, we feel so awful and emotionally exhausted that extricating ourselves from the situation with a modicum of dignity intact is all we can muster.
However, we can turn even the worst relationships into valuable lessons if we "mine" them.
Mining a relationship is the process of considering what you learned from it and extracting the lessons you will use going forward.
Every relationship—whether it is with a friend, a partner, or a boss— gives us valuable information about who we are, what we value, and how we want our future relationships to be.
When we ask the right questions, we can find the value in even the worst relationships:
"How did the relationship make you feel emotionally, and how do you want to feel in future relationships?"
"Did that relationship bring out any behavior on your part that you would rather not repeat?"
"What needs were not getting met?"
"What values were not being lived?"
"What strengths were you not using in that...
Instead of feeling guilty for snapping at your kids when you need them to HURRY, try this …
Communicate to them in advance about your need to be on time.
Say something like:
“I have a lot of things on my plate. Sometimes I feel anxious about getting places on time, and I worry that if I miss a deadline, the entire day will fall apart. Getting places on time helps me stay in control of all the balls I’m juggling. When I feel anxious about getting places on time, I tend to snap at the people slowing me down. That’s why I sometimes yell at you when I am trying to get you to move faster to get out of the house. I am working on staying calm. You can help me by getting dressed and out of the house quickly.”
Even if you do snap at them later (after all, most kids don’t exactly have a sense of urgency), you will feel better about how you have communicated with your children. And as they grow older, they will better understand you, and they will be more...
When you find yourself trying to resolve a conflict that seems to be spinning out of control, stop and ask the other person this question ...
"What do you need so that this relationship feels good?"
You know what it feels like to be in a conflict that is heading south, or spinning out of control.
It turns into a he said/she said. One person says, “You did this,” and the other person says, “Oh, well you do this.”
You can feel it when it happens.
To stop this downward cycle, ask this simple question: “What do you need so that this relationship feels good?”
It’s likely that the other person will respond with something like, “I need for you to stop being a jerk,” or some other insulting statement that blames you.
Instead of retaliating, take a breath, and clarify by speaking about your needs with non-blaming “I-statements."
Say something like,
“I need security in my life. I need to feel stable. Sometimes when you spend...
We recently received some pushback about an article in which we advised parents to set boundaries around the way they let their children talk to them and behave toward them. We appreciate the feedback and the opportunity to clarify our advice …
In this article, we gave parents advice for addressing children who are rolling their eyes or generally being rude and snarky. We suggested that parents can say something like ...
“I don’t know if you realize this, but you have been rolling your eyes at me a lot. It doesn’t make me feel good, and you should know that it makes me want to stop spending time with you. What exactly do you need from me that would make our relationship work better for you?”
Some readers worried that implementing our advice could make their children feel abandoned or cause them to become “people pleasers.”
Our response is this: We are inviting you to disengage from disrespectful behavior. We are not...
Plenty of people are surprised by how they come across to other people. Insecurity can come across as arrogance, shyness as aloofness, introversion as rudeness. We would all benefit from knowing the answers to a few questions about how we are received:
Your children should know how they come across to others, too, particularly as they become teenagers and then adults. When they think about how they are received by other people, they can decide whether they want to change...
Teaching your kids to be floaters can help them avoid friendship drama.
Being a floater means they can float among various social groups. They have friends from club soccer, from their current school, and from elementary school. They have a friend from summer camp, a couple friends in older or younger grades, and a few friends from their parents’ social groups.
Often, children latch onto one best friend. While this is normal (and even great), having only one friend can create problems down the road. What happens when your child and the friend have a falling out, when the friend moves to another state, or when the friend moves onto other interests and friendships?
When your children are floaters, the impact of friendships that drift-off is less devastating.
Floaters are also less upset when they are excluded from things. After all, they have other places to go, people to see, and things to do.
Being able to float in and out of social groups has the added...