Are you looking for an effective way to improve your parenting techniques? If so, you aren’t alone! There are several resolutions you can make to be a better parent now, and in the future. Keep reading for our top tips.
1. Be Present
There are all sorts of books, articles and conversations about mindful parenting. However, what it really boils down to is that when you are with your kids, you need to give them your full, happy attention. Listen, respond and don’t let yourself get distracted. Be there, in the moment, with your children.
2. Stop Saying Don’t
Think about how often you say “don’t” to your kids. Chances are, it’s quite a bit. Make an effort to stop saying don’t and start finding ways to say "yes" - even if you have to tweak what it is that they want or do not want to do. Consider offering several alternatives so they're empowered to make choices.
3. Enhance Your Child’s Involvement
Consider taking your child along with you to the gym, or to the grocery store. By taking your child along during practical tasks, it will help them be better prepared for life and the future.
4. Reduce Yelling, Increase Breathing
Unfortunately, some parents find themselves yelling more than they would like. If you feel on the brink of yelling, stop, take a breath and just breathe for a few minutes. This can help you stop this negative behavior.
5. Put a Time Limit on Your Work Day
For example, don’t check email after six o’clock. At a certain point, say “work is over.” Use this time to spend with your kids. Encourage your children to get their homework done early, so the evenings are reserved for relaxation and family time.
Some of the times that are most difficult for parents are during the “transitions.” These are the times when you are trying to get your kids ready and out the door. While you can’t avoid all of this, there are times when you can slow down and make things less stressful for everyone. Consider starting the process a few minutes earlier or implement a system for leaving the house where everything you and your kids need are near the door and ready to go. If you always feel like you're racing to the next thing, you're likely overscheduled and need to make some adjustments.
8. Make a Single Dinner
There’s no reason that your children can’t eat what you are eating. Don’t cater to everyone, instead make a single meal and make sure your child knows that is what they are expected to eat.
9. Learn from Past Mistakes
Learn from the mistakes you have made and that your child has made in the past but do not dwell on them. Accept these as learning opportunities and make sure they are avoided in the future. Keeping a journal can help you and your child process any mistakes made along the way. A journal can also serve as a gentle reminder that can be used to inspire confidence knowing mistakes can be overcome.