Parenting is one wild ride. Sometimes even the most knowledgeable and skilled moms and dads can do nothing more than hold on for dear life. There are definitely days that will bring you to your knees. Parenting is hard work, no matter how great you have it, but thankfully there are countless tips and strategies to make the experience manageable and delightful.
Make Time for Mom and Dad
When people think of parenting tips, their brains go straight to the youngsters. Ironically, one of the most useful tips in parenting is to make time for yourself. You know what they say, if you don't take care of yourself, then how are you going to care for anyone else? It is crucial that parents learn to take some time in their life devoted to only them. Take a bath, read a book, go on a walk or head out for a mom's night. Relieve some stress and return to your kids feeling refreshed.
Get on the Rewards and Consequences Train
At some point in your parenting journey, you are going to have to deal with some unsavory behaviors, courtesy of your darling offspring. Knowing how to implement rewards and consequences correctly will make you feel confident and calm when working with unruly children. You might not have all the answers, but at least with understanding basic rewards and consequences, you'll have some of the answers. Behavior charts are an excellent way to implement a reward and consequence system in your home for children of all ages.
Learn How to Effectively Communicate With Your Kiddos
Sometimes speaking to an older child or teenager makes you feel as if you both are from different planets. Without effective communication, parents and children fall into negative, unproductive patterns and relationships. Make sure that your family is communicating in a positive and productive manner. Remember that you are the kids' first and greatest teacher, meaning many of the communication patterns and techniques that you adopt in your parenting style will be a trait that they in turn adopt and utilize in their life.
Find Flexibility in Your Parenting No Matter How Hard It Seems
Sometimes, moms and dads get a set image of what parenthood should look like. Their dreams don't always match up with their realities, and it's hard to realize that adjustments must be made. Parents have to be flexible in their approach to raising kids. Kids are masters at curveballs and they will hurl one at you just about every chance they get. For their entire lives, you have to learn to duck and weave those curveballs, compromise certain aspects of your parenting plans, and learn to be as flexible as possible.
Yes, you need to embrace flexibility because there is no way that your parenting train isn't going to get derailed at one point or another, but you also have to create appropriate rules and boundaries and stick to them. Kids learn from their home environment where the line is and just how far they can push things. When establishing boundaries with your children, first set the rules. Give simple, short instructions and leave it there. Be consistent with your expectations and follow through.
As your kids grow, they will branch out into the world and start their own little social circles of friends. This independence is crucial to their development, but don't assume that once they reach this stage, you are scot-free in the parenting department. As kids create their own identity and relationships, parents need to be in the know more than ever. Stay involved in their activities and their schooling. Inquire about friendships, go to their activities and events and get to know the parents of the kids your child is hanging out with.
Capitalize on Teachable Moments
Teachable moments are where it's at people! Use your kids' blunders as an opportunity to guide them in the right direction. A teachable moment is an event of experience that presents itself in a way where a lesson pertaining to life can be taught. Instructing and guiding kids through teachable moments make the learning feel organic and authentic. Learn how to recognize a teachable moment and utilize them in your parenting strategies.
Find Your People
Parenthood is wonderful and beautiful, but also lonely and isolating. You need to find your people. Having dad and mom friends who understand this stage of life all too well is key. Friends are fantastic supports when times get tough and fun companions to share in the fun and memories. Know the qualities of a good friend and a toxic friendship and surround yourself with a community of positive people.
The Golden Rule of Parenting
In the world of parenting, there are countless tips, tricks, strategies, and hacks that can make life one million times easier. The single most important tip that anyone can give a parent is to simply do your best. You won't always get everything right, but so long as you wake up each day vowing to try your hand at kick-butt parenting once more, you are certainly on the right track to raising kids right.