10 Parenting Tips to Inspire You!

Need some inspiration? Below you will find the best 10 parenting tips for you!

Parenting is one of the most challenging, and yet rewarding, jobs you will ever have and--it is not for the faint of heart!  

There are days when you will look at your children and wonder how you got to be so blessed to be their parent!  

There are other days where you just might wonder if the zoo is accepting donations!  

But, it's YOUR circus and YOUR monkeys!  Enjoy them!  

I hope you will find these 10 parenting tips inspiring for those days when the going gets tough.

1.  Have Perspective

Sometimes a song explains things best-- 

It really doesn't stay like this for long.....

They are only little for so long......

2.  Consistency Is Key

Children thrive on consistency: in their daily schedules, in their discipline, and even in their food choices!

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.

3.  Forgive Yourself

This tip may not seem like it belongs on a list of the best 10 parenting tips, but it can affect your relationship with your child. You may be stressed out after a bad day and overreact to a little misbehavior your child does. Or perhaps you forgot to show up somewhere you were supposed to. Or maybe you broke a promise to your child. Even though we try our best, everyone makes mistakes.

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.

4.  Set Up Some One-on-One Time.....on a regular basis

You might have heard how important it is for you and your partner to schedule a regular “date night,” but how about doing the same for your child?  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:

  • Does she like to do crafts? How about a morning at a “paint your own pottery” store?
  • Does he like sports? Go to a game together, just the two of you.
  • Is there a movie coming out that your child is super excited about? Take him or her alone and they’ll feel really special.
  • What about going out to a restaurant together? It doesn’t even have to be fancy, although that would be extra fun. You could both dress up – getting ready together would be half the fun!
  • Even everyday errands are fun when done together!  Trips to Home Depot or the grocery store become extraordinary when they are spending time with just you.
  • If in doubt - ask your child! I’m sure they would be more than happy to tell you what they would love to do with you.  

I can tell you from experience, this will grow into a lifetime habit!  We picked a time once a week where I spent time with each daughter, without her sibling.

Our daughters are now grown and in their twenties.  We STILL have regular dates set!  We plan a coffee date once a month and most recently decided to plan monthly "dinner and a movie".  That is twice a month that they still want their Mommy time and, mhmm.....you guessed it....they are my favorite two days of the month!

5.  Praise Their Accomplishments

Out of all the 10 parenting tips, this one may seem the most obvious, but you’d be surprised how many parents overlook this simple tip. Your children need and will seek your approval for all areas of their life.

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'm not talking about generic praise--I'm actually know a fan of praise such as "Good job!"  "Wow!  You are awesome!" as a response to an action.  I'm talking about specifics, such as "Good job!  You studied so hard last night and it paid off!  Look at this grade!" or "Wow!  You really went out of your way to include your sister when your friends were here!  You are awesome!" See the difference?  

6.  Ask For Help

No one can do it all, all the time. Don’t be ashamed to ask for help!  Many times we are all too "stoic" about parenting--doing it all on our own, thinking we need to know the answers to everything.  This will just frustrate you and burn you out--no fun for anyone!

  • Ask friends and family to help with some areas you are feeling overwhelmed with.  Perhaps they can babysit once in a while or you can exchange babysitting with other parents.

  • Ask co-workers to help with work related items.

  • For spiritual or emotional issues, meet with a Clergy member or counselor.

  • For Medical issues and parenting advice, ask your Family doctor or pediatrician.

  • Join a MOPS group for some Mommy time!  NOTE:  I run the Moppets program for our local MOPS group and I can tell you from experience:  The dozen or so Moms who get together twice a month with this group are loving the support and networking that happens at each gathering!

7.  Be Silly

No, I’m not saying buy a rainbow wig and a big red nose (unless you really want to – then more power to you!). But as adults, we have a tendency to be too serious, too often.  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!

8.  Make Time For Yourself

This is one of the 10 parenting tips that most parents struggle with.  You are NOT being selfish by taking time to recharge.  It does not mean you love your family less....quite the contrary, it is healthy for your family for you to take a break.

Take an hour or several to get a coffee and drink it while it is HOT!  

Read a book.

Secure a babysitter and enjoy a long bath.....or a long nap!

Go to the gym or take a walk two-three times a week child-free.

Find ways to do things that make you happy and it will benefit your whole family.

9.  Eat One Meal Together Each Day

Studies have shown time and time again that children who eat meals with their families are:

  • Less likely to become overweight
  • Less likely to have eating disorders
  • More likely to do well in school
  • Less likely to abuse drugs, alcohol, or smoke
  • More likely to have better peer relationships

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.

10.  Show Your Love Every Day

The single most important thing you can do as a parent is to show your child every day how much you love them.  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!

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