It is important to teach kids to be flexible when plans change because they change… a lot. We want to teach our kids to learn how to deal with it instead of just fixing things for them.
Be Flexible Yourself:
First off- remember that your kids do as they see… if they see you going with the flow, they will, too. (Not just today, but every day. How you acted yesterday, last week, even last year… it all impacts how they will act today, tomorrow, next year.)
Prepare them for the change:
A friend of mine does this next little activity with her kids and it is really a great idea! When she learns that plans are changing, she tells her kids to start shaking their hands (they are shaking off their plans) and she said “Ok- its time tooooo…. Get Flexible!” (she makes it fun!)
She gives them the 5 W’s – Who, What, Where, When and Why…
Who? “We need to be flexible”
What? “About going to the party today.”
Why? “Because we are going to have to run to Daddy’s work to take him something instead”
Where? “We won’t be going to Chloe’s house anymore, we will only being going to see Daddy”
When? “We have to leave in about five minutes, so get ready by getting your shoes on”
Find a plan B:
“We will set up a play-date with Chloe later in the week because we still want to give her the birthday present that we bought for her and we want to spend time with her.”
WHEN they whine, explain that you don’t like when things change, either, but that being flexible is the best way to be… it opens up the door to other fun things to do (like getting to have LUNCH with Daddy while we’re there!) Find the fun in the change.
Make it fun:
Let them see that just because plans change doesn’t mean that it has to be a negative thing. Take a picnic lunch or take your camera and have a silly faces contest with Daddy. Just work to make the alternate plan as fun as the original plan to teach your kids that just because it is a DIFFERENT plan doesn’t mean that it won’t be great.
Ps- I think that you will enjoy this post: Stop doing that for your kids- you are doing more harm than good.