In our home we have extroverts and introverts on all sides of the spectrum, so family nights haven’t always been the most successful. I think we can agree on this much: we, as parents, set the tone for family night.
As someone who experiences anxiety when my actions/inaction are the center of attention, I haven’t always enjoyed our family nights. There, I’ve said it. The sheer thought of a family night has always put me on edge because my daughter can be so controlling of what I do or don’t do that it puts a lot of pressure on me.
I think we can also agree that there is no such thing as perfect parenting and that we’re always making mistakes. The idea that she has to make family night enjoyable for me has been a mistake in how I approach family night. I will be diving in to not only my childhood story soon, but I’ll also give some insight into my daughter’s to help you all understand our unique family dynamic. My little girl, who shares none of my genes, has dealt with a lot of pain and confusion in her life. For all I know, she is voicing her worries and insecurities by dictating how present I am during family nights. She may be crying for help by asking “who is your favorite family member” because she lacks a sense of belonging in our home that she shares with my biological son. I’m the adult. I need to be more observant of the non verbal behaviors in my children so that I can help them work through their fears and insecurities.
Regardless of how many “failed” family nights we’ve had, we always keep trying. Sure, we’ve made the same mistakes more times than I care to admit but I think we’re starting to get the hang of this.
Last week, we made paper airplanes and started to fill out our valentine’s day cards. This week, we played scrabble. There were still a few tantrums here and there, but I noticed that when I was mindful of my own tone, energy, and actions that the family nights themselves were way more “successful”!
I don’t have a list of things to do. Today’s blog post is simply from me to you based off of my experiences in my own wild ride of parenting. Whether you are a single parent or two parent household, check your own emotions when you start being overwhelmed or unhappy with the way your family interacts with each other. You are the one teaching these emotional creatures how to work passed hard feelings!