Being a parent is one of the greatest joys we can have in our lives, however despite that the day to day stresses of raising family such as sleepless nights, conflicts, long days and boundry testing can sometimes leave poor parents a bit flat. Thanks to Ronit Baras for this wonderful list – 17 Bright Ideas for Happy Parenting – Happy parents raising happy kids
Be Happy – Just like on a plane, you should put the oxygen mask on your own face before helping your kids. If you want to raise happy kids, you must take care of your happiness first. If you do not have oxygen, you are no good to your kids. Happy Parents Raise Happy Kids.
Be positive – It is very easy to notice what your kids are doing wrong but harder to pay attention to the great things. Parents tend to take it for granted. In life, you get what you focus on and parenting is exactly the same. If you focus on good thing, you will have more of them, if you focus on problems, conflicts, difficulties, bad manners, you will have more of them. If you notice something good, say it! Praise kids for being kind, congratulate them for an effort , acknowledge their kindness and you will see more of it.
Watch your words – Kids believe everything you say. They are programmed that way and the closer you are to them, the more they believe you. If you tell them they are amazing, they believe you. If you tell them they are lazy , they believe you. Your words will become their recording that they will play in their adult years. Make sure you leave recordings of love, caring, acceptance, happiness and kindness.
Listen more and talk less – If you are not there yet, being able to think before you speak, use your listening skills. Listen more and talk less. Much like the flow of energy, parenting is a giving and taking act. The more you give the more you get. When you speak, you take your kids attention. When you listen to your kids, you give them yours. There is much magic in parenting when you show through your listening acceptance, confidence, compassion and caring.
Do everything you can to stay together – A good relationship between partners is essential in every family. If the two parents are there, it is the best for kids, because their environment is stable. .
Forget one-size-fits-all parenting tips – They never work. Read, listen, learn, and choose the tips that fit what you want to achieve and the kids you have. Your family is unique, so do not try to be someone else. Be yourself, design your own style of parenting and go for it.
Be healthy – Your emotional and physical health is the foundation of your parenting. Take care of them at all times, because lack of health, emotional or physical, will make you angry, frustrated, unhappy, tired, sad, controlling, demanding, hostile, unfair and depressed – exactly the opposite of what every kid needs.
Develop leadership skills – Parents who see their job as a leadership position take the responsibility to lead the family with all the ramifications. Responsibility means keeping an eye on the target at all times without being distracted. It means making the decisions even when it is tough. It means not blaming others for what does not work but asking “What can I do to change it”. It means working in a team and supporting the individual development of each member of the team. Parents are the leaders of their family and they need to live up to it. Don’t be so hard on yourself. You will make mistakes, but it is all part of being a parent.
Never hand out captaincy to kids – Every parent is the captain of its family ship. Never give your captaincy to kids. They have no skills to run a family. When they have “tantrums” they do not ask for the wheel, they look for safety rules and want to know you are there, strong and sober to run the ship. As any good captain, your job is to make sure there is enough supply, the ship is in a good condition, everyone is healthy and the most important thing, you know where you’re going!
Set gentle boundaries – Children test the boundaries to expand their world. Don’t think of it as a test to your parenting ability but rather a way to learn, grow and evolve. It is a very healthy developmental process. If they don’t do it, it is a worry! When they try to push the boundaries, it is a sign they are ready for more responsibility. Set rules that take into consideration they will have to be adopted to age, gender, society, time pressure. You are the captain of the house, not the king. Set rules that give everyone a chance to be him/herself and remember they apply to you too.
Give them the gift of your presence – Kids want you to be part of their life. they would rather give up lots of materials to gain a quality time with you. If you have any doubt, go into your childhood moments and evaluate what was most meaningful for you, “time” or “material”? They want your presence, not your presents. Learn about your kids life and remember the time they spend with you under one roof is not long but it will determine how much they will connect with you in the 40-60 years after they leave home.
Let go of discipline desires – Discipline is a very misleading parenting idea as it is used only in the presence of weakness. When you discipline your kids, you use force to make them do something you want. It is never something they want and force will not make they want it but make them obedient. Kids obey when they are afraid, and raising kids who are afraid of you, will not be good for your relationship. You are still the boss, but not the one that uses pain to lead his ship.
Get to know your kid’s friends – Kids form an identity based on the experiences they have in lifeand they are highly influenced by their relationship with friends. Encourage them to hang out with kids that have the same traits you want your kids to have. Make an effort to learn their friend’s names and to get to know their families. Friends influence can help you or be an obstacle to your parenting philosophy. You have to know them if you want to use that influence to your advantage.
Music, art and sport is more important than literacy and numeracy – School is a great place to develop all skills needed in life, however, numeracy and literacy are over rated. Kids who do well in music, art or sport have great success experiences and are more likely to do well in their schooling adventure. Research on music discovered that playing a music instrument contributes to learning way more than any other subject learned at school. Kids who express themselves in any form of art, do better at school and their literacy and numeracy is a positive, successful side effect.
Invest in all your relationships – Parenting is one of the most rewarding experiences but not the only one. Although we need to dedicate time to be parents, we need also to dedicate time and effort to be partners, to be friends to be a sibling or a daughter/son to our own parents. It is important to invest in all our relationships and set a good example for our own kids. The more healthy, positive relationships we have, the better our life is and the better example we become.
Manage your financials wisely – We all want to raise wealthy kids but wealth mindset is best when it is learned at home. If you are responsible with your money, your kids will tend to be responsible with money. Work and earn money, never spend money you don’t own, save at least 10% of your money, If they are young, give them pocket money and teach them to use it wisely. If they can work, encourage them to have their own money. Money management is a learned skills and it has nothing to do with how well you do at school. Learn it!
Meditate and teach your kids to mediate – Mediation is a time off you take to allow your brain to re-arrange itself and charge your functioning battery. It is easy to mediate and any form of mediation will do the trick. Meditating parents easily raise mediating kids and the emotional, academic, social implications of mediation can be notices within 3 weeks. If you find it hard, just close your eyes and count backwards from 25 with every breath you take. If you lose the counting, don’t be alarmed, it is only a sign you are in a meditative state. Just start again. Do it up to 15-20 minutes and see how your life changes straight away.
- Ronit Baras is an author, educator (B. Ed.), life coach, journalist and a justice of the peace with over 28 years of experience in education. She specialises in emotional intelligence and a parenting expert. Her blog FAMILY MATTERS, contains over 1500 articles on parenting, education and emotional intelligence and attracted millions of readers from around the world. She also runs Be happy in LIFE Coaching.
- TAGS: Happy Parenting, parenting advice, parenting, improving your parenting powers, parenting power, improving your parenting skills, how to improve your parenting skills, bright ideas, bright ideas for mums, tips for mums