It’s easy to judge other parents until you become one. Kids do crazy things. They have problems that must be solved on days that you simply can’t deal with because of everything else going on.
Experts give you all of these rules for how to raise your kids but guess what, they don’t always work. Even in those dark parenting moments of despair, even when your child fails, even when you disappoint yourself by yelling when you said you never would, and the whole thing is exhausting and you’ve lost yourself, remember that parenting kids isn’t about perfection. It’s about getting through those difficult moments and still finding times to smile and laugh about.
It’s Less About Setting Rules
Being a positive parent is less about setting rules than people think. Yes, there should be guidelines. But inevitably both you and your children are going to fail if there are too many rules… so don’t set yourself up for that. Instead, strive for everyone to do the best they can and know that if today is a bad day there’s always tomorrow. That’s what you want to convey if you hope to raise healthy, happy, well-adjusted kids.
Bring positivity into your parenting by doing the hard work of knowing your child. It’s not always easy to really know the young boy or girl who is in front of us because sometimes we get caught up in trying to make our children what we would like them to be.
To be a positive parent, remind your child of all the good things that they are. Let your child know specific things that they are good at and use examples from their actual life, to bring it into concrete reality for them.
- Recognize and honor the individual.
- Explore talents.
- Encourage growth.
- Praise kindness.
Empower your child by letting him or her do the hard things and taking them through the steps. Go at their pace and allow for the learning curve. This will teach them how to approach a challenge methodically, one goal at a time. Build them up as they master skills. Correct as needed but don’t squelch enthusiasm.
Go with the Flow
You may hope that your child practices violin every day because hey, you paid for the instrument and the lessons. But accept that kids are kids, and music is free expression, but obligatory practice can become a chore and a bore. There are going to be those other days when they’d rather watch a movie or play ball outside. So let them and be good-natured about it.
Instead of talking at your kids, talk to them and with them. Teach your children the important skills of negotiating for what they want, meeting halfway with another person, being able to wait and have patience, and picking up where they left off if they don’t immediately succeed.
Correct Their Course
Be firm but also go light on admonishment. Do not repeatedly show your kids where they went wrong. One correction is enough.
Help your kids learn there are different ways of solving a problem. Teach them that a failure is not forever. It is just a moment in time. 9 out of 10 fails lead to future success.
Be a forgiving parent. Forgive yourself for your shortcomings. Forgive your child for their humanity. Do not withhold from your children when they make mistakes. Unconditional love means being firm but kind, following through when a correction or consequence is called-for, and saying I love you and I believe in you even on a not-so-great day.
Apply the golden rule in your parenting. If you would not want it said or done to you, don’t say or do it to your kid. Parents can have humility too, it’s not all about control but about connection.