Parenting is one of the hardest things we will do in our lives. But finding parenting skills that work will make parenting easier and more fun!
Let’s just be real, being a parent is one of the hardest jobs I have ever done! There are those times where everything just works, the kids are well behaved, the house is picked, up, and you feel like you have it all together! Then you have many other moments that make you question everything about being a parent.
Being a parent sometimes feels like no matter what you do you can’t win. The kids aren’t happy. You feel like you are constantly disciplining your kids, using empty threats and not getting the results you want. You are worn down from parenting and feel like you are kind of sucking at this whole parenting job. But guess what? We are here to help you with these Super simple parenting skills that will change your life when it comes to parenting! Are you ready to learn the secret to effective parenting skills?
Here are some Positive Parenting Tips to Make Parenting a Little Bit Easier!
Parenting Skills to Make Life Easier
Set Up For Success When it Comes to Effective Parenting
One of our biggest parenting mistakes we make is telling ourselves that we are a bad parent. We convince ourselves that we don’t have the parenting skills that we need to do a good job. Or we are overwhelmed with all the parenting tasks that we have that we feel like we are behind before we even get started!
Here are some Parenting Tips for Setting up for success when it comes to parenting.
Take Care of You.
There are times when we run ourselves to the ground as parents! We literally drain our own tanks to empty and are still trying to go do everything we need to for everyone else. This type of parenting does not work. For us to have effective parenting we need to be sure to fill our tanks too! So, what does this mean? Take care of yourself. Physically, spiritually, emotionally, and mentally.
- Do one thing for YOU every day.
- Take time to relax for 5 minutes. Even if that means locking yourself in the bathroom for 5 minutes.
- Establish a morning routine that allows you to start the day off right!
- Stop putting yourself last… Remember on a plane, you put your own oxygen mask on before you help others.
Make Your Home Liveable
I remember the days where I dreamt of my home looking like the Pottery Barn Catalog. I thought for sure that is what it would look like that by the time I was 35! Well… I can just say that my home does not look like the Pottery Barn Catalog, and it won’t look like it even at age 35! In fact, at times I feel like it looks like the swap meets with piles thrown everywhere that you have to sort through to find anything!
What is the biggest thing that makes you go coo coo as a parent? For me, it is the kids getting into everything!
If this is your parenting struggle too we need to set our homes up for kids! Now, this does not mean having kid stuff everywhere by any means! Keep your formal living rooms and dining rooms looking nice. But, do set up areas that your kids are always in to be kid friendly! What does this mean? Childproof the cabinets in the kitchen if the kids are always getting into them. Clear stuff off the tables so you aren’t constantly bickering (yes, we all bicker) at them to put stuff back or to be careful. To be honest, I don’t even have a coffee table anymore because I was so tired of telling the kids to stop climbing on it!
We are busy! So, why not plan ahead when it comes to parenting? Plan what you will do when certain situations arise. Or plan ahead how you will react to certain situations. The key to effective planning is staying in control of a situation and we do this by practicing and planning. Of course, everything does not always play out how we anticipate, but at least we try to be prepared!
Focus on Positive Behavior
When I am asked what is the best parenting tip you can give me I will always say, Focus on Positive Behavior! So often we spend our time focusing on everything that is going wrong in life, especially when it comes to parenting. But if we can just focus on the good our kids will respond in a positive manner.
Think about this. Kids crave attention. And they will do anything to get attention, even if it means doing things that they shouldn’t. So, if you only focus on negative things they will continue to act out in negative ways. But, if we switch it around and start focusing on positive behaviors they will seek that from us instead. There are such easy ways to focus on positive behavior. You can praise them for cleaning up after themselves, making their bed, being kind, using good manners, getting ready for school on time. The possibilities are endless. This also includes praising them for their efforts even when they fail. Kids need to know that you are proud of them in their darkest hour.
Be in Control of YOU
Oh, this is a biggie when it comes to effective parenting. As parents, we need to be in control of ourselves. I learned this over spilled pee one day. We need to be in control of our emotions all the time. This means that we should never raise our voice and yell. Yes, we can speak calmly, but firm to them. But we should never raise a hand, get in their face, or raise our voice at them. Learn to manage your stress. This might be done through mindful techniques or learning to walk away to take a breather until you are in control again. In these moments of frustration that we have, we are teaching them by our actions how they should act when they become frustrated as well.
Be Firm, Fair, and Friendly
Be firm, fair, and Friendly, or otherwise known as the 3 F’s is important as a parent. This pretty much speaks for itself when it comes to parenting. Set rules, be fair with them and be friendly.
Set rules and expectations with your kids. Every child needs rules and needs to follow them. I know it is easy to just be your child’s friend and let them do what they want, but in reality that is not what kids need. They need a parent. They need you to be that parent. Firm does not mean controlling and harsh. It means setting rules to follow that are realistic. More on that later.
Be fair to your kids. Don’t put one above another. Let the older ones stay up a little later than the younger ones, even if it is only 10 minutes longer. Let them go to the movies with friends if you think they are old enough to. Treat your kids differently (because we are all unique), but as equals.
Be friendly with your kids. Show them love and affection. Let them know by your actions how much you love them! Laugh and be silly with them. Play games with them. Connect with them, even your teenagers! Out of all the parenting skills we talk about, if you only take one parenting tip away let it be to connect with your kids. It will make life so much easier. Spend time one on one with them. Spend time as a family. Spend time with just the kids.
Lower Your Unrealistic Expectations
Oh before I became a parent I knew my kids were going to be perfect. They were going to listen the first time I asked them to do something. They would never talk back, and they would be the best examples. In fact, everyone would look at me, and say, “Wow! She is a great parent, look at those kids.”
Ok… Now is where we insert huge amounts of laughter because we all know that this dream child does not exist… At least in my household. Do they in yours?
Lowering my expectations was the best parenting skill I have ever learned so far in parenting. Kids are not perfect, therefore I cannot expect them to act perfectly all the time. Learning to set realistic expectations is key to good parenting.
When I say lower your expectations that doesn’t mean free for all and no rules. It just means to set things that kids can do. If you have toddlers it is unrealistic that they are going to be clean eaters that never spill or pick up every single toy as soon as they are done playing with it. We can though set an expectation that they pick up toys with guidance and reminding from us, as parents.
With teenagers, we know they are going to make mistakes. And wouldn’t we want them to make mistakes as teenagers rather than adults? So, for us to say that our child will never fail or make a mistake is unrealistic. Certainly when some mistakes are made their needs to be consequences (such as experimenting with drugs or alcohol). But other times such as getting a low grade on a test they practiced for is a little unfair. Us as parents need to understand that these things will occur. So, therefore set realistic expectations is key for good parenting.
Be A Team
Parenting is hard, we all know that! So, we need to be on the same team as our spouse. Even if you are not married anymore. Being on the same team is imperative when it comes to good parenting skills. This allows your child to know that no matter who they go to they are always going to get the same answer. Nothing is worse than a child coming to one parent and them saying no and then going to the other and them saying yes. Not only does this strain your marriage, but it also teaches your child that they can get what they want from the other parent.
Pick Your Battles
Oh if I could go back to my early days of parenting and redo some things one of those things would be to pick my battles! There was a time when I did not pick my battles. I would battle over what they would eat, what they would watch, what time they got up to get to school on time, etc. Oh, how I have learned that good parenting is about choosing battles and letting kids learn from others.
I think as parents it is easy for us to sweat the small stuff in fear that we will raise children that we aren’t proud of. But really, will candy before dinner really make them into a horrible person. Or will them waking up at 6:30 am rather than 6:20 am matter that much in the grand scheme of things? Who cares if they don’t have enough time to brush their hair? If brushing their hair matters to them they will wake up earlier the next day.
When picking our battles we need to look long term. Will this matter in 6 months, a year, 5 years, for the rest of their lives? If the answer is yes, then have the conversation with them. If it’s not let it go, relax, and move on.
We are all so busy in life! So busy! Why do we overbook ourselves and allow us to be under so much stress? We need to slow down and just enjoy life. Enjoy our kids, enjoy our family! Before we know it our kids will be all grown up and leaving home! Trust me my oldest is almost 14 and I swear he was JUST born! Take the time to slow down and enjoy life, especially being a parent!
Forgive, Forget, and Move On
There are so many parenting moments that I wish I could redo. So many times that I wish I would have reacted differently. I think we all feel this way right? The trick to good parenting is forgiving ourselves. Forgetting about the little hiccups we have and moving on. If we didn’t do this our guilt would literally eat us alive. So next time you make a mistake, don’t beat yourself up about it. Apologize to the person you did the wrong too, and forgive yourself. We are all human and we all make mistakes! So Forget, forgive, and try again. You can do it!
There you have it! Simple parenting skills that can set you up for Parenting Success! I know parenting is hard! I am in the thick of it right now too! Certainly, there are times when I feel like I am drowning, but if we can just keep a level head and practice these parenting skills we will be better parents and connect more with our kids.
What do you think is a good parenting tip you would add to the list?
Michele is a Family Life Educator. She is a mom to 5 kids and loves helping others strengthen their families! When she is not blogging she is spending time with her family and running around drinking Diet Coke trying to get everything done!