I had rarely heard anyone use the word “pivot”, until 2020! Suddenly the word was everywhere! It seemed like EVERYONE’S “word of the year” for 2020 was PIVOT!
Adults are not the only ones that have been forced to pivot; the kids have as well!
The earlier in life you learn how to roll with the punches with a smile, the easier it will be to react that way in adulthood when BIG pivots come!
HERE IS HOW TO HELP YOUR KIDS PIVOT
➡️Make the pivot fun!
Fun is to a pivot, what sugar is to medicine! It makes it go down SO much easier!
You know what makes your kids excited, so incorporate it into the change of plans!
My kids love getting gifts (shocking, I know). My “pump up the excitement” strategy is to tell them that there will be a special surprise involved! I keep a stash of dollar toys on hand to use at times like this! My kids are more flexible with a new crown on their head or new stickers in their hands! Is this bribery? Maybe! Does it work? Yes! I know I pivot more happily if I have a cup of my favorite beverage pivoting with me! Same difference!
Incorporating a fun location into the change of plans can help amp up the fun factor, or offering a special food treat afterward. An ice cream date or a trip to the playground can heal ALL wounds!
➡️Involve the kids in pivot planning!
Kids like choices as much as adults do. By involving them in planning, they feel heard and that their opinion matters. If possible, I offer my kids two choices. The choices are usually similar with small variations. AKA mommy gets her way, but the kids do too! ALL are happy pivoters!
Sometimes, this means explaining to my children WHY we are having to change plans. Kids often understand more than we give them credit for! As an adult, I appreciate the “why” behind the “what”, and children do too!
Proverbs 16:9 provides parents a verse to refer to when explaining why some plans don’t work out. The Proverb reads, “We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps.” I teach my kids that God can see the BIG picture when we can’t! I tell them that He may be keeping us from something that would hurt us, or He could have something even BETTER planned for us!
➡️Let them see YOU pivot well!
Kids are like parrots! They will copy your actions, words, and attitude! If your kids see you resist when plans change, they will think this is normal and do it as well. If I am honest, this is difficult for me. I like a solid plan and I like that plan to go as planned! If a mommy pout is a must, then I try to do it in private, and remerge calm, cool, and collected!
If you have a positive attitude about the change of plans, your kids will likely follow suit! Fake it till you make it if you have to!
Pivoting is HARD! Give your children (and yourself) grace as you learn to embrace change! Practice makes perfect!