Recently, I was talking with a friend about her struggles as a parent. She was feeling frustrated, disappointed, and guilty all at the same time. Every parent deals with these emotions at one time or another – EVERY parent. A LOT. We spent some time talking through the issues and devising helpful strategies success. Here were a few:
1. Try your best not to get pulled into the drama (these are Shawn’s words to me on a daily basis). By that I mean, let your yes be yes and your no be no. Avoid the shouting matches and the desire to get your child to understand your point of view. If necessary, develop a plan to delay talking about the situation until everyone has calmed down. Thirty minutes can work wonders to reduce drama – for your child and YOU!
2. Remember, you are the parent. That doesn’t mean you are a dictator. But, it does mean you have the responsibility to be the mature one and to take advantage of teachable moments. Don’t get so caught up in daily tasks that you forget that you are responsible for training your child.
3. Consistency is key. Make clear expectations and stick to them.
4. I also find it incredibly helpful to periodically read parenting books that relate to my particular life stage. Those insights make me a better parent.
What about you? What’s your best parenting tip? With our kids out of school over the Christmas break (and spending a lot of time underfoot), we ALL need to be sharpened in this area!