Tired of resolutions? Here are
10 Easy Ways To Improve Your Parenting, No Resolutions Necessary. Put these on your fridge and read them daily. I guarantee you less drama and more
1. Empathize more. Children don't always need to get their way, but they do need to feel understood. Isn't that what we all need? Whatever
your child says or does, she has a reason. Even while setting limits, try acknowledging that reason. Instead of "Stop pushing him!" try "You want your brother to move so you can reach the truck. Say 'Move Please.'"
2. Tell them what they CAN do, instead of what they can't. Instead of "Stop playing with the ball in the house!" try "Balls are for outside. Inside, you can throw the stuffed animals into the bathtub."
3. Get them laughing every day. Laughter changes the body chemistry, decreasing stress hormones so kids are more cooperative and sleep
better. It also increases bonding hormones, so when you laugh with someone, you strengthen your relationship.
4. Say Yes more often. We're parents, so we have to set limits and say No, over and over all day long. So when you can say yes, say it.
Even when you have to say no, can you say it with "Yes" energy? "YES, it's time to clean up, and YES I will help you and YES we can leave your tower up and YES you can growl about it and YES if we hurry we can read an extra story and YES we can make this fun and YES I adore you and YES how did I get so lucky to be your parent? YES!"
5. Spend "special time" every day with each child. If you want to strengthen and sweeten your relationship with your child, here's
your prescription. Just show up and pour your love into your child without controlling him. Parents often tell me that their children react to getting
this one-on-one time "like they were missing an essential vitamin." They were. Every child needs this tangible expression of your love.
6. Use your pause button to yell less. Be the role model. How will they learn to regulate their emotions if we don't regulate ours?
7. Turn your screen off when you're with your child. Many children say their parents' phone is the most important thing in the parent's
life. They'll remember for the rest of your life that you turned your phone off when you were with them.
8. Go outside and move with your kids. Research confirms what your grandmother said. Children really do need daily fresh air, greenery
and movement to de-stress and be their best selves.
9. Allow emotions, limit behavior. Of course you need to set limits. But when we allow emotions, children learn
to manage them faster. Just say "You must be so upset to use that tone of voice. Tell me about it, Sweetie. We can figure this out together." Your
child will start calming down before your eyes.
10. Put yourself back on the list. You can only be emotionally generous if you take care of you. I know, that's tough, but it isn't sustainable
to leave yourself off the list. Start by getting enough sleep and talking to yourself like someone you love. Monitor your well-being as you go through
your day. Every day, do something that increases your level of joy. You'll see your good mood rub off on your child.
Happy New Year! I hope 2017 is your family's best year yet.
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