Although I gave parenting my all, I know I made lots of mistakes. Perhaps you’re confidently parenting with skill, but maybe – like me – you could have used some pointers. Let me encourage you here, at the beginning of a new school year, that you have an opportunity to draw a line in the sand and make a fresh start. In the spirit of “It’s never too late,” I’m offering a few tips I’ve picked up over the years that I hope you’ll find helpful.
10. Laugh a lot. Don’t allow the pressures of parenting rob you of your sense of humor. Most things are just not worth the angst. Really.
9. Let your kids “own” their stuff. By that, I mean that it’s important not to rob your kids of tasks or opportunities for growth. Just because it’s hard, doesn’t mean they don’t have to do it THEMSELVES. If they are struggling, trying, working, the best thing you can do is take a stance of benign and friendly neglect in order to grow capable people.
8. Good enough is good enough. Perfect is too much – for anyone. Let it go already.
7. Rest is important for you and for your kids. When everyone is tired, over-scheduled, and stressed, nobody is at his or her best. Enforced “down time” and bedtimes are a must.
6. Don’t expect kids to be more mature than you are. ‘Nuff said.
5. It’s natural to get angry at times. Of course you do! But try try try NOT to react or punish out of anger. Give yourself a breather. Take deep breaths, count to 10, or walk away with a promise to return. Then deal maturely with the issue keeping long-term goals in mind.
4. Are you a “messy” and your child is a “tidy”? Are you a “quiet” and your child is a “noisy”? Are you a “doer” and your child is a “thinker”? Learn to love and accept your child for the person he or she is. They are who they are. They will likely still have those traits as adults. Hopefully, they will love and accept you for your traits, too.
3. Enlist their help with household tasks, even at a very young age. Let them take charge of some jobs. Parents are not household servants. You are a family working together so everyone can have a life.
2. Less preaching, more showing. Let your kids see you living out your priorities and values. They are studying you and your actions. Live what you believe so they want to emulate you instead of some dubious public figure.
1.Respect your children. What a wonder to have little people who love us and learn from us. Listen to them, value their opinions, learn what makes them tick. Respect gives dignity and makes people feel loved. The relationship is everything.
I’m pulling for you. Keep calm and parent on.