Four Tips to Make You a Better Parent
Once you become a parent, you never get a break. Even on family vacations, you must deal with sibling rivalry, temper tantrums, and power struggles. You might be doing the best you can to provide a great life for your little munchkins, but odds are you're being too hard on yourself.
It’s normal to question whether you are doing things right, especially if you seem to always face challenges with your kids. As we make our way through the beginning of 2020, we should remember that this is the best time to leave some old habits behind and commit to better ones.
Here are four changes to make this new year...
1) Prioritize yourself
Your kids deserve a happy parent and one of the best ways to ensure you are happy is by having some alone time. Besides being a parent, you must have other interests you enjoy, and this will be the time to stay in touch with that side of you. Try to take up a hobby or an activity to help you destress so that you don't end up burning yourself out. You could try a new group fitness class, spend the day at the spa, read a book, or go for a solo trip over the weekend-- anything that allows you to spend some quality time with yourself.
2) Control your responses
The most significant role of a parent is teaching your child how to respond to different circumstances. Kids naturally do what they see you do, not what you tell them to do. If your little one responds in the heat of the moment, you might want to check how you respond when temperatures are rising. Control how you react by taking a moment to think about what you are about to say or do. Put yourself in your child’s shoes and determine how the reaction would make you feel-- towering over kids like the big bad wolf will only make them frightened, and possibly teach them to act the same way.
3) Spend more quality time with your kids
You probably spend a lot of time with your kids, but most of it might be spent multitasking between making dinner, doing chores, and more. It is important to spend quality time with your child, even if just two hours of uninterrupted time, as it will build an unbreakable connection between you two. Having this time will make you more available to help your child with their emotions, and as your kid will be getting more time and attention, you might notice that some of the negative behavior they display to get your attention will reduce.
4) Don’t take your kids' behaviour personally
It’s easy to feel as if your child's behaviour is directed at you personally, especially when you are fighting with them. For instance, a child may break a rule you established, making you feel like they are disrespecting you on purpose. However, you must remember that your child’s behavior is not always about you, even if it’s directed at you. Focus on your child and their behavior on its own, as opposed to how said behavior makes you feel. If you are too angry to do this, take a moment to calm down and handle the issue when you have a clearer head.
Parenting is not about being perfect, but about trying your best to care and be there for your kids. But its also important to note that your child is trying as well. By remembering these things, you will be able to remain more empathetic towards both yourself and your kids when you are all struggling to stay on the same page.