From a young age, I had always thought about being a parent. It is a period in my life I was and continue looking forward to and maybe you can relate. Perhaps you grew up in a loving family in which you felt included and supported or maybe, it was the opposite. In either case, it is up to us to determine what type of parents we want to be for our children.
3 Ways to Become a Better Parent:
- Make Time for Your Children/Be Flexible. Children often look up to us and as my mother says “children are like sponges… they soak up everything they see and hear.” As your children grow up and begin to develop, changes in parenting styles will also begin to occur. Sometimes, “change” can be mentally draining and physically cause us to sweat or doubt our abilities. In either case, flexibility is important and truly benefits the parenting relationship as both your child and you will find time for each other. If you try to continue a rigid teaching style, you might cause more stress on yourself.
- Know Your Own Needs and Limitations. The beauty of life is there are always learning opportunities; we do not need to be perfect or need to know all the answers. Knowing this as a parent allows us to accept our weaknesses and strengths. Being honest to our children and taking time off from parenting is beneficial. Hence, try to have realistic expectations for yourself, partner, and children.
- Communication. Establish loving and open communication with your children while removing any distractors to notify your children you are listening. Ask your children how they feel and constantly validate their feelings. This allows your children to feel safe talking to you not only as a parent, but as a best friend.
We often want the best for our children and want to be the perfect example, and when we do not live up to these standards, we tend to consider ourselves as “bad parents” or “incapable.” It’s time for you to set more realistic expectations, take one step at a time, and praise the progress, not the outcome. So trust yourself and be open to growth because you are capable of more than you can imagine.
Citation: Experts, K. M. (Ed.). (n.d.). 9 steps to more effective parenting (for parents) – nemours kidshealth. KidsHealth. https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/nine-steps.html
Written by : Rachel G.; Masters Intern at Olive Branch
If you need support, live in the Chicago area, and would like to speak to a professional counselor, please contact Olive Branch Counseling Associates, Inc. at 708-633-8000. We are located at 6819 West 167th Street in Tinley Park, Illinois 60477.
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