Parenting is hard. It challenges everything in you at one point or another. It is also the most rewarding experience you’ll probably ever have. Oftentimes, we become overwhelmed. Whether it’s just too much going on, or hard times causing unwanted stress on your family. Sometimes we get lost in our lives and aren’t the best parents we can be to our kids.
I have compiled a few little reminders to help you be a better parent….Starting today.
#1. Be Self-Aware.
This is super important. We have to be able to be honest with ourselves and know that we can do better. We have to WANT to do better. That means we have to admit when we’re being unfair. It is easy to say that you did it because you were stressed and move on. It is harder to admit you were wrong and fix it.
#2. Stop Yelling.
I don’t care how stressed out you are. Yelling is never a good idea. Believe me, I have yelled more than I would like to admit. But every single time I have yelled at my kids, I have felt awful afterwards and my kids do not trust me to open up as much. I want them to be able to come to me and talk any issues out with me. I cannot do that if they fear how I will react.
#3. Give them at least 30 minutes of undivided attention a day.
Children need to know that they’re being heard. With phones, tablets, Netflix, and everything else so readily available it is becoming easier and easier to shut out the needs of our children by either ignoring them or placing them in front of a screen. Kids don’t need you 24/7, but they do need quality uninterrupted time. It will mean so much to them if you plug your phone in for a little bit and sit on the floor with some Legos with them. Remember how much fun it is to build with Legos?
#4. Do NOT brush off their feelings.
We may not understand why they are having a melt down. We may think it is stupid that they are getting mad their sibling has the toy they wanted. But telling them they’re being ridiculous is only going to cause more psychological trouble down the road. Instead, explain to them why they can’t have the toy car Baby Brother is playing with. Tell them it is okay to feel mad or sad, but that taking the toy away from Baby Brother before he is done will then make him feel mad or sad. Explain everything. I’m sure it will make a huge difference in how they respond.
#5. Do NOT talk negatively about them.
Everyone has bad days. No one is perfect. But children are just learning, growing, and trying their best to understand all of the rules of this big world. They get overwhelmed just like us. I have heard too many times, parents complaining about their kids. Talking about how they can’t wait for them to go back to school. Imagine yourself as a child. Hearing your parent say something like that to you. Or even just hearing someone else say it to their child. Watching that child’s face drop because the one person they depend on to love and protect them wishes they would just go away. Just don’t do it.
Every parent and every situation is different. However, these are just simple quick fixes that anyone can do and reap the rewards from it. Don’t forget to slow down and enjoy the little things in life. Our kids can truly teach us that.