As mothers we are constantly bombarded with parenting advice. It can be difficult to distinguish what will make the most positive impact on your parenting. The following are 5 parenting tips that will help any mother stay true to her authentic self and help her to raise confident, secure, and happy children.
1st Parent for the Long-term, Not for the Moment. Although it may seem easier to just give in to the whining and give your 3 year old the cookie rather than deal with a tantrum, the long-term learned behavior will be much harder to correct in the future than taking the time to set the desired expectation at the teachable moment. It could be the difference of a small battle now or World War III later. Make the extra effort in the moment to be consistent in your expectations, and the payoff in the long-term will be well worth the time spent in the moment.
2nd Say What You Mean, Mean What You Say. Kids need the security of knowing that they can count on you to follow through with what you say. Being true to your word will help your child to trust and respect you. So the next time you are at the end of your rope and threaten to skip his best friend’s birthday party on Saturday be prepared to follow through on your threat, or take a deep breath and react with a more realistic response.
3rd Accept and Appreciate. Your child is a unique and special individual born with a distinct personality. She may not be exactly what you thought you would get while she kicked away in your belly, but she is who she is, and that will never change. Take the time to really get to know who your children are and then appreciate them as individuals and nurture that individuality. Learn to understand your children’s temperament and work to parent them in the unique way they need you to in order to reach their full potential.
4th Model Your Values. BE who you want your children to be. Be clear in your values and priorities and model them in your everyday actions and words. If you want your children to be patient and kind, then you should be patient and kind with them. If you want them handle their anger and frustration in a positive and effective way, then you must do the same. Children always learn more from watching you rather than listening to what you preach.
5th Don’t Take it Personally. Your child has the very important job of testing their independence and challenging boundaries. It is important as a parent that you understand and respect this process. Your toddler, or teenager, is not purposely trying to make your life miserable. They are simply doing their job.
Many of my clients like to write these rules down and reread them every morning so that they may begin their day on a positive and inspired note. Begin your inspired parenting today!
About 5 to Live By author, Andrea Shillito: “I have worked as an elementary school teacher for the past 12 years and am a trained Infant/Child Sleep Consultant and PCI Certified Parent Coach. Most importantly, I am the proud and happy mom to my two beautiful girls, Madison and Cate. I am pleased to be writing this column for The Mom’s Guide to San Diego and hope that you will find it informative, as well as inspiring. Wishing you a lifetime of joyful parenting!”