Secrets to Positive Parenting
Tips for Parents
My mom, probably a lot like yours, taught me tons about parenting including sometimes what not to do. I learned a lot with my own children so read on for my tips about how not to make some of the same mistakes I have:
* Love yourself first. This means taking care of yourself first before you take care of your spouse or your children. If you take care of everyone else first and save yourself for last, often you don't have enough energy for yourself. This could lead to long-term physical or mental health issues. Take care of yourself first so you can take care of others.
* Set aside time for just you and your spouse, whether that's a date night or some other time spent alone with each other. Let your children see that you're doing this together so that they know parents need time to themselves to nurture their relationship. And then do what you can to nurture your relationship.
* It's tempting to jump in and keep your child from making a mistake. But then, not only are you jumping in to save them, you're also depriving them of the opportunity to learn from their own mistakes. A mistake made is, more often than not, a lesson learned.
* Give your kids opportunities for independence. Don't assume that they need to be with you all the time. This could stunt their psychosocial growth and encourage long-term dependence on you. Participate in the transition from child to adult with your kids and back off once in a while so that they can learn to be independent.
* Be sure to always praise your children for good behavior. Sometimes good behavior flies under the radar because kids doing what they're supposed to allows parents to do what they're supposed to and sometimes we get caught up in our processes, forgetting to praise our children. Make sure your children know that you approve of what they're doing either at the time or soon after.
* Just like how we should never dwell on the past we fight with the spouse, likewise don't bring up past mistakes when you're disciplining or arguing with your child. This is called "not fighting fairly" and the parent is already at advantage when dealing with the child because he or she has most of the power. Don't stack past mistakes on whatever you discussing now if you want to push through to compromise or improvement.
* Respect your children. Like them as people. Listen to them as if they genuinely have interesting things to say. This will go a long way toward your children respecting you and encourage a mutual respect between you in adulthood.
* As a parent you should learn not to sweat the small stuff. We have to choose our battles and it doesn't encourage harmony in the home to pick on every little thing your child does or does not do. Let something slide so that when you need to correct your child he or she will listen instead of tuning you out.
My daughter is almost done with high school and I can honestly say that, while the transition from childhood to adulthood was rocky at the beginning, she and I will be good friends in the future. Raising her was an adventure that I will never regret. Use the tips above to improve your relationship with your children and stay strong while keeping your own life in order.