Just remember to breathe. Parenting is a journey with so many paths and roadways, sometimes the way isn't clear and we may need to pave our own, but ultimately it is a learning experience for you and your child. Parenting can be done a number of ways, some good and some bad, but in the end, the goal is to create a productive and positive future for your child. These five tips are not concrete guidelines but are tools that may prove helpful in your life, within or outside of your parenting life.
If you or anyone you know feels like the weight may be too much, please reach out, you are important, and so is your mental health.
National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-SUICIDE
5. Find Common Ground
Parenting is hard, especially when you feel like your child is on a totally different planet than you. Finding a common ground with your child will help both of you understand and relate to each other. This understanding is a key component for developing a deep connection with your child. Find a game you both like, read a book that makes you both laugh, go alone together to the movies on a Sunday afternoon just because, do something that makes you simultaneously happy. If you take interest in your child's interests, it can potentially help foster stronger and healthier relationships between parents and children.
It's easy to brush off a curious child, it's easy to tell them later, but forget amongst the many things you have to finish before days end. Communicating your intent to your child can at times be very helpful and constructive. Honesty and respect are keys to communicating well, this doesn't mean divulge all the secrets of adulthood, but if you don't have time today to play Lego because you've got 30 other things on your plate, it's okay.
3. Make Time
Even with those 30 other things you need to do, something has got to give. Every moment you spend with your child is an opportunity to get to know them better, and strengthen your bond with them. This doesn't mean backburner important responsibilities, but take some time every now and then for your child. One of the most important components of a healthy and happy life for your child is the sense that they matter. When you take the time for one on one interactions with your child, you help solidify the idea that they matter. Feeling important can help your child develop goals and conquer fears, giving them the incentive that they are valued, and that how well they do matters to you.
2. Be Patient
Sometimes patience is hard to come by, you feel as though your temper is on and your patience has gone on vacation. When you feel impatient, your child feels your frustration. Learning how to deal with impatience will not only allow you to better parent your child, it will also give you an advantage in society, too. Calmly talking to your child instead of immediately flying off the handle can prove far more productive, and can also help teach your child the appropriate response to frustration, as well as conflict resolution tools.
1. Time Alone
Even though most days you're a superhero parent, you need down time too. There is absolutely nothing wrong with taking a night off from the kids, provided it doesn't negatively impact your family. Your children will not die from one night at grandma's. Take a night off! Do what you need to do for yourself so you can do what you need to do for your family. It proves counterintuitive to have a vehicle but to never take care of it. You are not a machine, you are human and you will make mistakes. Take time to forgive yourself, and remember that someone needs you.
Bonus: Remember You're Doing a Great Job!
Even though sometimes everything feels like it's falling apart, despite it all, you're the glue that holds your family together. Your kids need you, but most of all, they love you unconditionally. Your happiness helps ignite happiness in your child, and positive vibes in your home are never a negative! Keep it up, you're doing an amazing job!