Firstly, I’d like to congratulate you on wanting to try something new. Parenting has always been an evolution, we must ebb & flow with the changing needs of our family.
Every parent has a tool box they go to for specific situations; strategies to tackle some of the common stresses most parents encounter. Rarely does a parent have the tools to deal with extreme behaviours, mental health crisis or navigating difficult life events (divorce, death or any other unexpected situation) life throws at us.
So, you’ve been reading, researching & googling new strategies to deal with the issues your children are facing. Take a minute & celebrate this. Most parents aren’t willing to admit that they do not have all the answers – you are a head of the crowd!! Congratulations!!
Here are a few tips on how to implement your new strategies without causing more stress:
- Full Transparency – be honest with your children. Let them know that you are willing to learn, grow & adapt to their needs. Explain to them that you are going to be trying some new ideas and ask for their feed back (age appropriate). Bring them into your parenting processes & allow them to feel included, validated & appreciated.
- Full Accountability – let them know that you are not perfect. Admit when you are wrong, or not sure how to navigate a situation. Let them see your vulnerability. This will give them permission & incentive to also be accountable.
- Don’t Give Up – Rome wasn’t built in a day. Everything new takes time, practice & evaluation. If you try a new strategy & it doesn’t work, go back to the drawing board and make adjustments. Whatever you do – keep moving forward!!
- Enhance Your Personal Boundaries – Kids know how to push our buttons. Review your core values decide how you will be treated. This will also encourage your children to asses their own personal boundaries.
The greatest lesson my children taught me:
No 2 children can be parented the same way.
Each child has specific needs, ability to process & skills. Use this to your advantage. Don’t suffocate their individuality – enhance it.
What happens if things explode?
- Re-evaluate – put yourself on a time out. Cool off, regain composure.
- Recognise – sometimes we over-react or misunderstand. It’s ok, as long as you are willing to admit it.
- Responsibility – be accountable for your actions. Tell them where you went wrong & how you intend to correct it.
- Reconcile – apologize to your child. Help them understand where & why you veered off course.
- Resolve – ask your child to help you resolve what may still be lingering as stress.
You are not failing.
Unfortunately, there is not a magic wand for parenting (I wish there was…). Have a little faith in yourself. You are seeking new information, researching, learning & trying. You are not failing!!
All we can do is admit that sometimes we are being ridiculous, we don’t have all the answers, but we are willing to move heaven & earth to ensure our children are healthy, functioning members of society.
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