30 Ways to Become a Better Parent
This article comes from Patricia at A Better You Blog. What I liked about the post was that Patricia didn’t just list thirty items, she actually went ahead and expounded on many of them.
When I first saw the title I expected the list to contain quick items that anyone could have easily come up with e.g. Hug your kids, kiss your kids, listen to your kids and so on.
However, right from the first item on the list I noticed that the article goes into much more detail:
1. When you tackle a project, find a way to give your child some role in the task.
From preschool to the teenage years, children love to feel needed, and working together provides opportunity to talk and learn about how things function. My husband worked on cars with his dad since he could barely hold a hammer, and now my son does the same with his dad. Whether you are getting organized, mowing the lawn, creating a scrapbook, doing household chores, or building something on a computer, do it together. Even by simply giving your 4-year-old the socks to sort by color and fold, you are doing something great!
2. Think before you speak.
Automatically you are a better parent if you do this one. Words said in haste or impatience can leave a lasting impression on their hearts, like a footprint in cement. When you are emotional or tempted to react instead of respond, think. In most cases, waiting a few seconds or minutes to speak will only help the situation as tempers settle down on all sides.
3. Ask your children about their day, and listen with interest and support.
4. Find some genuine compliment or praise you can give them. Look for ways to reward kindness and responsibility every day.
Also, each item could almost have an entire post dedicated to it.
I’ve included the rest of the list below without the descriptions. You’ll have to visit her site to read the post in its entirety. My suggestion is that when working with this list try to implement only a few items at a time and work with them. If you attempt to implement all 30 in one day you’ll go crazy and drop the whole thing. By the way, number seven below really works.
Here’s the rest of the list:
5. Change your countenance when you make eye contact- smile!
6. Encourage talent and find one new thing to introduce to them and help to open up their world. One new skill, idea, location, career, and possibility. Do this often.
7. Next time you try to get your kids’ attention, instead of talking louder and louder, talk softer and softer.
8. Say NO, firmly but with compassion.
9. Say YES, and sacrifice when you had not intended to do so.
10. Be consistent and transparent.
11. Do something for yourself.
12. Assume the best, not the worst.
13. If trust has been broken in the past, give your child a clear roadmap to earn it back.
14. Let them see your strength in weakness- conquer your bad example.
15. Show up for the important times, and listen to know what these really are (do not just assume).
16. Take one more step today towards living what you believe and instantly be a better parent.
17. Eat one meal together every day as a family, away from the television and phone.
18. Children love routine, so add a new tradition.
19. Have a family fun time at least once a week.
20. Next time you wonder why your children react in a certain way, imagine the scenario through their perspective.
21. Give your child a physical sign of affection every day.
22. When tempted to argue as adults in front of your child, stop. You just became a better parent.
23. Do not argue with your children.
You are the parent. Command respect by telling them you will gladly listen to their side, but there will be no argument.
24. Seek out humor, and laugh at the unexpected!
25. When your children approach you for attention, give it as soon as possible.
26. Try something new and learn it together. Let your child become the teacher or help solve a problem.
27. Vary your activities and your environment. Encourage your children to go outdoors, to play indoors, and to do different things throughout the day.
28. Help your children attend to their own four core components to be happy, and lead by example yourself.
Live in balance, and help your children adjust their schedule if it is too busy or if they need to explore a new activity.
29. Read together every day, especially books about their interests.
30. Every child learns differently so discover your child’s learning style. Encourage a love of learning, encourage dreams and goals, tell your children ”You can do it!” and believe it with them!
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