Parenting is one of the most challenging, and yet rewarding, jobs you will ever have. There are days when I look at my children and wonder how I got so lucky to be their mother. Then there are days when I'd like to see if the zoo is accepting donations... :)
I hope you will find these 10 parenting tips inspiring for those days when the going gets tough.
“It Won’t Be Like This For Long” by Darius Rucker:
The more you can keep things regular and routine, the happier your children will be. When they know what to expect, they live with a sense of peace. If there is a change in your routine, try to tell your children about it ahead of time so they can prepare.
This applies especially to behavior expectations and discipline. Children should know precisely what they are allowed and not allowed to do. They should also know what will happen when they do not follow the rules.
Whatever your error, you probably feel bad, but it’s important to learn to forgive yourself. A good first step is to make sure you apologize to the person you hurt. Even children understand mistakes and are typically quick to forgive.
Evaluate your mistake and try to learn from it. Are there steps you can take to make sure it doesn’t happen again? Would keeping a daily planner help you to not forget appointments? Would taking a few minutes after a stressful day to do something soothing help you to be a better parent? Make a point of creating a learning opportunity out of every slip-up and it will become easier to forgive yourself.
To a child, the best thing you can give them is your undivided attention. What could be better, then, than to spend a whole morning, afternoon, or evening with just you?
Think of what your child is most interested in. Here are some idea-sparkers:
Make sure they know how proud you are of them when they learn something new or are behaving nicely (even if it seems insignificant to you, it’s probably a huge deal for them).
Tell them what you think their best traits are. This will help develop their self-esteem and draw you closer together. Never overlook the importance of praising your child!
I haven’t always been the best at this. I felt like I had to be “Super Mom” all the time. I ended up being burned out and not much fun to be around at all.
Finally, I started asking my friends and family to help with some things occasionally and to my surprise, they were more than happy to help!
We exchange babysitting with friends of ours so that we can each have a night out with our spouses. It may seem like a simple idea, but it’s one that has benefitted us both.
So who can you ask for help?
Family & Friends – can help with childcare
Co-workers - can help with work-related issues
Neighbors – can help with household duties
Clergy member or counselor – can help with spiritual or emotional issues
Family doctor – can help with medical issues or even parenting advice
I’m not trying to negate the serious issues that we all have to deal with. They are a part of life and we can’t escape them.
However, when was the last time you and your child did something so silly that you both ended up in fits of giggles? It’s those moments that can make a huge impact in your relationship with your child.
The great thing about this tip is you don’t have to schedule a special time to do it. Just open yourself up and remember what it was like to be a kid.
Put bowls on your heads and pretend to be astronauts. Have a tickle fight. Show off your crazy dance skills. Let go and have fun!
Even though I love my children more than anything, I learned that I needed to have occasional breaks from them, even if it’s just for a couple of hours.
One way that I make time for myself is by making sure I take time each week to exercise. Not only am I setting a healthy example for my children, but I am also relieving stress and feeling better physically. I am a better mom now that I take that time.
Find ways to do things that make you happy and it will benefit your whole family.
It seems there is a constant flow of research that shows the many advantages for children to eat with their families. With all the evidence, make it a priority to eat together as often as your schedule allows.
This may mean children eat a bit later on some nights, or maybe the meal together is breakfast on some days. Whatever you can do will make a difference to your child.
This may come in the form of saying the words “I love you,” a hug, a kiss, a pat on the back, a little note tucked in their lunchbox, spending quality time with them, or just a smile for them.
However you choose to express it, make sure your child just how much they mean to you!
What do you think of these 10 parenting tips? Tell me here.