Some Ways to Be a Better Parent
We all want to be better parents. Sometimes we can get caught up in life without realizing how we treat our kids. So, here are 10 ways to be a better parent.
Realize Bad Behavior is Just Him Expressing His Emotions
Children don’t throw a fit to try to manipulate you. They just don’t know why they can’t get what they want. And because they can’t express why they feel the way they’re feeling with their words, they do it by throwing a tantrum. Which leads to the second thing you can do to be a better parent.
Teach Your Kids How To Control Their Emotions
Because your kids can’t find the right words to tell you how they feel, it’s your job to teach them how to control their emotions when they can’t. This is tough because it’s usually during that time that your emotions are flaring up. And so it often turns into a shouting match. Tracy and I like Dr. Laura from Aha! Parenting’s advice on controlling tantrums on older children.
Encourage Your Kids Instead of Praising Them
Compliments and praises like “You look so pretty” or “You’re so nice” can confuse kids. They don’t really know what you mean. You’re not telling them why you think they’re pretty or nice. This is why it’s important to point out specific things. Instead of saying, “That’s a pretty picture” be more specific, “I love the colors you used in that picture. It makes it so bright and happy.” Now there’s no confusion as to why the picture is pretty. Kids then learn that using bright colors makes pictures appear sunny and happy.
Teach Your Kids How to Be Competent
If your child is capable of doing something let them. Encourage them to do whatever they are able as early as possible. This not only helps them survive when they leave home. It helps their self-esteem. They feel better about themselves because they can do things on their own.
Teach your child how important routines are to living a stable life. It’s best to start at a young age. But it can be implemented at just about any time. Routines are usually the rules children were made to follow throughout their childhood. Daily things like brush your teeth before bed or preparing for the next day. Teaching your kids daily routines not only helps them be more organized later in life but gives them a sense of security and accomplishment.
Accept Who Your Child Is
Kids that feel loved and cherished thrive. That’s just a fact of life. And notice that the kids have to feel loved. That means that you can love them as much as you want. They won’t thrive in life if they don’t feel the love you’re giving them. That means that we have to accept who they are – inside and out, whether we agree with them or not. And if they are not feeling loved, we’re not loving them right.
Life gets busy for everyone. Take advantage of little interactions throughout the day. Hug them in the morning and each time you say goodbye. Carve out a time on specific days that your family eats together. Spend 20 minutes a day just hanging around your child. Focus all of your attention solely on them. Listen to them, hug them, laugh with them, and listen some more. You’d be surprised with what you would learn about them by just listening to them.
Talk to Your Kids About Subjects that Are Uncomfortable
Talking to kids about uncomfortable subjects is the way you teach them your core values. Talking about the hard subjects helps them to learn the lines of right and wrong. It also allows you to work out your own beliefs and where you stand on hard to talk about topics.
Show Them the Power of Love In Action
This is an extension of teaching your kids how to control their emotions. That isn’t to say that love is an emotion. It is to say, though, that how and when we love others are influenced by our emotions. If we feel mad at someone it makes it really hard for us to show them love. But that’s how we teach our kids the power of love. That is, telling the difference between what we want to do and what we are supposed to do.
Adults need to be functioning and feeling well in order to have control over their lives. This means we may have to give up our favorite TV shows or social media accounts. Be willing to give up anything keeping us from being physically and psychologically healthy.
This is not a definitive list of all the ways to be a better parent. But it will certainly get you well on your way. It’s your turn. Good luck!