People have asked me how my house runs so smoothly with three teen boys. Cause it does, we have cultivated respect, love and openness. We have helped them step into their divine Self.
They have helped us step into our divine self.
In part, it’s because I run my house in the same way I’d run a business. I don’t view my kids as dependents. I view them as a valued, respected and loved individuals in the realm that makes up our home.
For being them.
As I give that out, I get it back. I can then ask them to contribute in ways that help the realm thrive.
This is how I began to think about it, We have all had bad bosses. Remember the time where you were stretched too thin and gave her or him the finger behind their back because they weren’t valuing or respecting you?
I decided that in the midst of the teenage-dom of my first son, I was being a shitty CEO. Expecting EVERYTHING and giving NOTHING. Treating him more like a slave than a human – a human that I was supposed to show and give unconditional love, by the way. When I was getting NOTHING but headaches from the scenario (and A LOT of yelling), I decided that something had to give.
What really had to give? They way I was behaving in my home. I was not running my house with respect and love, I was running it as a dictatorship.
I was being the shitty CEO, the kind that I ALWAYS gave the finger to. And once I decided to change that – it paid off.
Don’t be the shitty CEO of your house.
1. As far as household contributions go – align each contribution (we don’t call them chores in our house) to each teen’s strength. My oldest son is HIGHLY organized – he takes care of getting the trash together and taking it out. He is also REALLY good at math, so he checks and helps my youngest son with his math homework. My middle son is an animal lover, so he takes care of ALL THINGS ANIMAL related. My youngest is very methodical, so he takes care of dishes – loading and unloading. They each take care of the common spaces in the home keeping it neat and tidy for everyone involved and have the freedom to keep their private space the way that they wish.
That last point – it was one that I had to privately work on. Giving them the freedom to keep their rooms how they wish. OMG, though – they DO take care of their rooms. Sure, it might be messier than I would keep it, however, they DO take care of them. It seems giving them the freedom over their space has cultivated them having respect for themselves. Yippee!!!
2. Treat your kids with respect, value their strengths, and help them strengthen their weaknesses. Each of my teen’s also have weaknesses – giving them opportunities to strengthen these is also key. Going outside of our comfort zone is something that we regularly like to do. It helps build resilience and a sense of accomplishment. And failure? We like to view failure as a learning tool in life so that they can adjust the sails and try again. Because, well… life WILL throw curveballs, it’s knowing how to deal with them without collapsing completely that is the key.
3. Encourage dreams and creative thinking. We have encouraged our oldest to move forward with his entrepreneurial plans. We have encouraged our middle son to strengthen his mind and body with his plan to pursue athletics. We have encouraged our youngest son to sculpt and create awesome new action figures. Dreams are worth pursuing. Encourage them to go after their dreams and to work through the fear that WILL surface – it’s part of the game, after all.
4. Give them downtime. My kids need a lot of downtime. They are ambiverts – so when they are “on”, they are “ON”, just as importantly – they need to recoup their energy, which is where downtime comes in. Respect that they are way more loaded with to-do’s than we ever were. Teaching my kids the ability to ebb and flow is important because resting is as important as doing – it’s called balance.
Respect them. Respect yourself.
Give yourself downtime. You are no superhero if you cannot respect yourself too. And guess what? As you begin to give them the freedom to live their life and go after their dreams, something FANTASTIC happens – you create more free time for yourself to explore new opportunities for growth. You get to really embrace the next chapter of you!!
As far as household contributions for you? Do the ones that you just do not want to give to anyone else (For me? It’s Laundry, I fold it and organize it the way that I want it to be) and outsource the ones that you feel suck. You’ll be so happy that you did!
Run your house like a well oiled machine by treating your family the way that you’d want to be treated by your boss. And if your boss sucks, BE the kind of boss you’d want to have in your home.
Add hugs and words of encouragement are on the list too.
And say thank you, often. You know what it feels like to feel appreciated. Do that in your home.
Your household will run much more smoothly. Because everyone will be thriving.
Tracy Gromen is a Self Mastery Coach & Healer. She is a reformed control freak and perfectionist, the mom of three teen boys who used to personal train (for 10 years) and has stepped into helping moms build connection within themselves and their families so that everyone can move from surviving to thriving. She used to be the shitty CEO of her house and is now a great one. Download Tracy’s free E-book “3 Easy ways to create a healthy relationship with your teen” at www.tracygromen.net/gift. You can follow her on Facebook and Pinterest.
Image courtesy of Seth Doyle.