How to be a better parent

Parenting can be tough and it can also be very rewarding. It takes a lot of work to be a great parent. What you do and say can affect your child and can stay with them for a lifetime and be perpetuated through your grandchildren and great grandchildren.

You are the ultimate role model – your child will be looking to you for the lead.

One area is extremely important and that’s you.

Here are 5 tips to  help you become a better parent.

1. Start with yourself

You need to tell yourself regularly that you are good enough and are doing a good enough job in parenting your child. If you don’t look after you, who is going to? There’s enough negativity around without being negative about yourself.

What can you do to boost your self-esteem on a daily basis?

2. Smile

How you start your day off is a big deal. You want your children (and you) to start their day off the right way, every day. Starting the day off with a smile is a good start (if you’re tired or irritated, don’t show it). Think how infectious smiling is.

Continue your smiles throughout the day – even with strangers!

3. Ask about their day and listen.

Remember, and take a moment to think back to when you were a child and how important some little things were to you. Recall how it felt when you were upset about having no one to play with at break times or when some one was calling you names. Spend time with your child and listen to them. Stop what you’re doing and really listen to them. Your child will value this time.

Spend time with them and do something they enjoy and instead of you being in charge, let them be in charge. This can shift energies and perspectives and   give that sense of power to your child.

Can you remember when you were a child and everyone seemed to be telling you what you could and couldn’t do?

4. Be thoughtful

A great way to be a great parent is to show your child how much they mean to you. You’ll do routine things on a daily basis which are possibly taken for granted. You can make things more personal with occasional little surprises. They might take the form of their favourite treat or even a small note. You might put it in their lunch box, or reveal it when they get home from school.

5. Spend time as a family

Make sure your child knows they have a place in your home and are important to your family. Eating meals together can improve the time you spend together as a family and be a place for lots of talking and helping. Plus you know that they are eating the right foods!

What are your tips to help you be a better parent?

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Parenting Self Esteem Tips

5 Tips To Raise Your Self-Esteem

Sometimes you’re not sure you’ve got the whole parenting thing right. Perhaps you’ve been criticised and judged by other people; family, friends and strangers included! You start to question yourself about what you’re doing.
There are probably a number of occasions you have doubted yourself when parenting your children – for whatever reason. Your confidence has been well and truly knocked.

The parenting bottom line is that you can and will make mistakes from time to time. Maybe you don’t do things as well as you’d like to and you might get some things completely and utterly wrong.

Big deal.

The key issue here is your resilience. How good is your ability to bounce back after these set backs?
Here are 5 tips that can help you to recover your self-esteem:

Tip 1 ~ Look after your own well-being. It’s about time you put yourself first. Think about what you need. If you are ill and below par your family can potentially grind to a halt. Remember what the flight crew talk about when the cabin pressure drops and the oxygen masks drop down? Put your mask on first so you can then help others. The same principle applies here.

Tip 2 ~ Take time for yourself. What are you going to do with your time? Yes, your children will be okay for an hour or so being looked after by someone else. What’s stopping you from doing something different to recharge your batteries? What do you like to do? Meet friends, go to the cinema, walk (the dog), go to the gym, or play a sport? What about something where you can have some fun and laugh? A good laugh and having fun is superb medicine and a huge pick me up.

Tip 3 ~ Stay positive. Sometimes parenting can get stressful and that’s when the negative little voice in your head increase its volume and starts shouting at you. Help turn the volume down on it and reinforce your positives by thinking about the things you’ve done well before. To put you in the mood for positive thoughts and deeds put some well-loved music on which you associate with good jobs and actions. Focus on what you’ve done well and right.

Tip 4 ~ Achievements. Think about your achievements to date. You know there are quite a few. Commit those wonderful achievements to paper so you can see them there in black and white and they’re right in front of you. It makes them seem so much more tangible now doesn’t it?

Tip 5 ~ Ask for help. You might find it difficult to ask for help as you aren’t in the habit of doing that. When you do ask for help it isn’t seen as a sign of failure at all. If anything, it’s seen as a sign of strength. It might just be one or two things you need help with to get you back on the right foot.

What tips have you got to raise your self esteem? Come on, seize the moment and write your tips down below.

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Are Your Friends a Tonic or Toxic?

You’d like to think that as a responsible adult and parent you’d have sussed out your own friendship groups by now, wouldn’t you? Are your friends the ones you’d have an ‘ice and a slice’ and a sparkle with or do they bring you down in a big way?

Come on and do this little activity.

It’s going to take a minute or two. Now close your eyes.

Think about and visualise the friends you have. Think about each one, how you feel before you meet them, when you are with them and after you’ve left them. You may have some friends who are a real strain to be with or some who are absolutely fantastic.

Keep those feelings and read on. Do these situations ring a few bells?

Perhaps one friend is fantastic to be with, has a really infectious, lively attitude but doesn’t have a sense of time. Even all the outrageousness, liveliness and wonderful conversations you’ve had couldn’t compare with the number of times you’ve been left waiting at pre arranged lunch dates, or the cinema. You’d thought on those occasions they’d been run over by a bus or involved in an accident! You felt taken for granted and unappreciated as the relationship appeared to be very one sided to say the least.

Another friend is lovely to be with, is really chatty and forthcoming about who’s doing what and so on. The trouble is the stories she’s telling are usually always nasty gossip about other people and you feel uncomfortable around her or the group when this is happening.

You don’t see a huge amount of this next friend and after seeing and being with her or him for a short while you realise how down and negative you feel. This friend appears to have sucked out your life energy. You feel it’s an uphill battle to talk with this friend about anything positive. She’s/he’s always so negative about the majority of things. It’s so draining.

These types of friends can destroy your confidence, erode your dignity and elevate your stress levels.

If you have friends similar to the ones outlined, what can you do?

You don’t have to clutter your life with relationships that threaten your self worth and confidence. You do have a choice. You can continue as it is or you can set firm boundaries on what you will accept and stand firm on those. Clear respectful communication is a good thing and it’s not always easy. Sometimes if the friendship is so destructive you might feel you have to limit contact or even walk away to survive.

On the other hand…………… will also have friends who positively light up your life in so many different ways and they bring huge amounts into the relationship. When you are with them, time literally does seem to fly by and before you know it the time with them is over and you both comment, “Where did the time go to?”

These are your friends to be treasured. You can feel relaxed in their company, have fun, have unconditional support (lots of hugs) and above all you can be yourself. These friendships resonate with laughter, harmony and balance. You can consciously choose the friends you feel relaxed with. These friendships are worth maintaining. They add sweetness to your life and are a real tonic for you.

What do you think?

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The 4 A’s to Good Parenting Skills – Part 4

Acceptance – Part 4

We all want to be accepted for who we are, even children. As a parent, you have a powerful role within your child’s life. You provide unconditional love and affection to your child as well as emotional warmth.

Children will feel secure if you accept them unconditionally, be non-judgemental and accepting despite their behaviour. Being accepting doesn’t mean you have to be in agreement.

Acceptance means to acknowledge and understand someone’s experience.

You accept your child’s feelings and you don’t accept the behaviour being delivered.

“I can see you are really angry and you cannot kick out.”

By giving reassurance and encouragement you will help your child to develop a sense of security. You will be sending  positive messages to your child and role modeling what to do and how to do it.

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The 4 A’s to Good Parenting Skills – Part 3

Appreciation – Part 3

Sometimes because of the busy-ness of your days, simple things can get forgotten. Appreciation is one of them.

How many times do you take certain things or actions that your child does for granted?

Let your child know that you appreciate it when he puts his toys away without being asked, cleans her teeth without being prompted or sets or clears the table without so much as a word from you?  You can never say these words enough and they can help your child towards good behaviour.

Appreciation of each other and what you have together can go a long way.

Yes, you can say thank you and those words are appreciated as well.

It’s showing your child that you recognise the value and quality of what he’s done. He will be keen to do more good behaviour to have more positive responses and appreciation.

What do you appreciate about your child?

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The 4 A’s to Good Parenting Skills – Part 2

A couple of days ago I looked at availability and the potential impact it could have in your family. I hope you’ve been able to start the process of reclaiming quality time with your child?

Affection – Part 2

Do your eyes light up when your child walks in the room?

We all want to be loved and be shown affection, especially children. Children need tangible evidence of your love whether it’s through hugs, cuddles, talk or words of praise. When your child grows older and is maybe less physical, you need to find other ways to show your affection.

If you’ve laid a good foundation even a teenager will respond given the right opportunity. Sometimes a squeeze on the shoulder along with a smile is just what your child wanted.

Your child knows you love her. It’s always good as well to tell her with your words.

Just think what  positive messages these actions and words send to your children.

What do you do that shows your affection towards your child?

What does your child like you to do that shows affection?

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The 4 A’s to Good Parenting Skills

You want to be a good parent and have good parenting skills. Sometimes what’s happening on a day to day basis  and the speed of your life is so action packed that some key qualities disappear. Over the next four posts I’ll be looking at four traits that will help you improve your parenting skills.

Availability – Part 1

Does this ring any bells?

Your child asks for help or wants to talk to you and you’re busy doing something and you reply “In a minute”. You only intend to take a minute but other things get in the way and you don’t get round to seeing or speaking to your child about what ever it was they wanted to see you about in the first place.

When you do see your child perhaps he responds with “It doesn’t matter now” or “It’s not important” and goes off in a huff. Alternatively, as a way of grabbing your attention, a younger child might exhibit behaviours you’d rather not see, whining, crying, shouting and throwing or breaking things.

In your busy, action packed days make sure you have time for your child, particularly when they need you. I’m not saying you have to be at their beck and call all of the time or only be available when your child needs you.

Let your child know you are  available for them and that the time you have together is important.

What about planning in some daily, quality time with your child?

It could include going for a walk, going to the park or reading/doing puzzles with them.

Older children still like to talk and reconnect perhaps over a coffee or even homework!

You don’t have to spend money on achieving these quality times. What is important, is the time and love you freely give.

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Role Models

Being a parent is both a joy and a challenge and no amount of planning and talking can totally prepare you for the whole event and package thereafter.

I knew I was going to be THE best parent my children had. The question was HOW was I going to achieve it? I knew that, as a parent, I would have a powerful influence on my children. I wanted to make sure I’d be able to fulfill that role positively.

The first role models you have are your own parents, for better of worse. There were bits of my parent’s parenting I didn’t like because I was on the receiving end of it all. I thought when I have children, I’m not going to do that, whatever that was at the time.

When your children arrive and push you to your limits, words tumble out of your mouth and other actions happen. Don’t you think sometimes you sound just like your mother/father? And you swore that would never happen to you.

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Sibling Rivalry

Having children is wonderful and sometimes they can really damage your sanity and composure.

I bet you thought that sibling fights and rivalry belonged to other people didn’t you? That was until your children decided to start on each other, verbally and/or physically. You love them both and get along with them individually. When the two of them are together though that’s a whole different scenario.  The levels of stress in you and your household go up astronomically.

“The fighting drives me up the wall.”

“The vicious comments are so nasty.”

The worst of sibling rivalry is that it can seriously demoralise parents and children alike.

Looking on the positive side about sibling rivalry – it could be that they become tougher and more resilient. From all the fighting with each other they could develop speed and quick responses. From the verbal sparring they could learn the difference between nasty, spiteful comments and clever, thoughtful and positive words.

What do you do that helps you?

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Parenting Learning Curves

I realised early on with my children I didn’t want to follow a strict routine nor did I want something that was all over the place. I wanted something that worked for me and my family. There was far too much information out there and I felt swamped by it all, so in the end I was very selective about what information I chose to implement.

My fabulous support was from a really good friend of mine. She was way ahead of me in the child rearing stakes – she already had four small children so was more than qualified to answer all my seemingly endless questions.

One tip she gave me, still on the theme of sleep, was to sleep when the baby/toddler slept and not to worry about the house work and other stuff. I duly did as was prescribed and found I could catnap or go into a deep sleep in a matter of seconds. I also found I was brilliant at doing ten minute ‘power naps’, particularly when the second and subsequent children came along.

Come on let me know – what’s your best tip for coping?

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