Encourage their Tomorrows
Evenings can be a time of expectation or exasperation for your children depending on how they feel about the coming school day. Do your children approach bedtime with a sense of dread or anticipation regarding the next school day? Their mood at this time can affect their sleep quality. As parents, you can improve their outlook with a few simple questions over dinner. You can also uncover the source of their attitudes if you listen carefully to their responses.
Tell me one thing you are looking forward to tomorrow?
Encourage them to find something to look forward to. If this is a difficult question for your child to answer, ask them what they would like to look forward to. If their answer is reasonable, discuss how you as a family could work toward bringing their expectation into reality. When they are excited about tomorrow, they will be more content in today.
What are you dreading about tomorrow?
You will discover the source of anxiety in your children. Use this time as an opportunity to calm their fears and help them overcome the anxiety. Listen for areas that could reveal bullying or other unhealthy situations in your child’s life. When children feel powerless to change their situation, exasperation sets in as they realize another day of the same old problems is just a few hours away.
What can you do tonight that will make tomorrow better?
Listen as your child formulates a plan. When you help your children discover ways to solve problems, you empower them to succeed. Encourage them that they can make a difference. You will discover not only what your child sees as need for improvement, but also what they see as a solution.
You won’t solve all the world’s problems over dinner, but you are taking intentional steps to raise your children to expect a better way instead of becoming exasperated by the monotonous and mundane. It is healthy to think that regardless how bad our day was today, there is hope for tomorrow.