Ten Parenting Habits to Get Into
- Take time out to take care of yourself. The airline industry has it right: you can’t take really great care of others unless you take care of yourself first. If you don’t have the mental and emotional reserves needed to parent effectively, you’ll do and say things you regret on a pretty regular basis. On the other hand, if you take the time needed to care for yourself, you’ll be much better able to care for your children.
- Offer your kids choices whenever you can. If there’s a magic formula in the parenting world, it just might be choices. When you stop trying to force your child to do something and instead offer him safe and appropriate choices, magic often happens. Kids like control just as much as adults do, and having a few good choices will give them the sense of control they crave. Of course you only want to offer them choices that you can happily live with.
- Ask for help when you need it. Then accept it when people offer. You don’t have to be super mom or dad or be a great parent. It really does take a village to raise a child, so tap into your fellow villagers. This is also a great thing to model to your kids, because you want them to ask for help when they need it, right?
- Don’t expect perfection. It doesn’t exist. You will make plenty of mistakes as a parent and you’ll often repeat them over and over again. The good news is that your child is pretty resilient. Yelling at him when you’re having a bad day or putting him in front of the TV so you can have a glass of wine and chat with a friend won’t damage him for life. Parent with love, respect and a sense of wonder and you’ll find your kids do really well.
- Keep your eye on the big picture. It’s hard not to get caught up in the drama of the moment. You stress over trying to get out the door in the morning, trying to tame your toddler as he melts down at the grocery store and trying to keep your kids from fighting in the car. In fact, pretty much every encounter of the day can be a stress trigger if you let it be. Instead, keep your eye on the big picture. Ask yourself which things really matter. Let go of the things you won’t care about in an hour, or a day or a week.
- Pick your battles. You can’t solve all of the problems that present themselves to you throughout the day. For some things, you just have to walk away and allow them to work themselves out. Focus on the things that are truly important to you. Invest your time and energy into the issues that matter and focus on where you can make a real impact. If you try and tackle every issue that comes up with your child, you’ll spend your day running from fire to fire just trying to keep the house from going up in flames. When you pick your battles, you’ll be able to truly invest yourself in dealing with the things that matter most to you.
- Enjoy the parenting journey. You can get so caught up in trying to do it right that you forget to take in all the simple joys that come with being a parent. It’s a cliché, but it’s true: your kids will only be young once. Slow down and enjoy them.
- Connect with your kids before you try and teach them anything. Kids learn all those important lessons you’re trying to teach them so much better when they’re calm and connected to the adults around them. Your biggest asset with your kids is the relationship you have with them. When you take the time to genuinely connect with them around the problems they’re having, you’ll see the behavior you’ve been looking for.
- Keep your sense of humor. Let’s face it; kids are pretty funny. If you can get past your fear, embarrassment or worry about whatever they’re doing, you’ll probably be able to find the humor in the situation. And that humor can make even the most difficult days bearable.
- Find your own parenting style. There are a million different books, blogs and articles that will tell you how to parent. It’s impossible to do everything the “experts” tell you to do because they don’t even agree on what’s the “right” way. Find your own path. Get comfortable with your own parenting voice. You know your child better than anyone else.
For more information please visit: http://www.findananny.net/blog/ten-parenting-habits-to-get-into/