Most of us parents don’t feel like we are getting the award for “parent of the year”.
Sometimes it can feel hopeless.
But being a “good” parent looks different from what we think.
Its not always smiling happy faces and Sundays spent playing board games, or long walks talking about shared hobbies and games of frisbee with the imaginary dog.
Parenting is messy.
It’s long conversations where no one agrees but everyone is heard.
Its watching your kids make mistakes and standing firm to catch them when they fall.
It’s standing in the face of tantrums knowing that this is your child feeling safe to express themselves.
It’s not losing your cool when they did the exact opposite from what you asked because you remember their lack compliance isn’t lack of respect.
Here are some of my favourite and unexpected ways that tell us we are bossing it in the parenting game!
The more we can listen and the less we can say, the more our kids will talk to us. Often we think we have to come back with input, feedback or opinions. Not the case. More often than not our kids just want to feel heard. Not questioned. Not challenged. Not lectured. Just listened to.
LETTING THEM FAIL
I know it feels counterintuitive and it seems like the opposite of what we have been told is “good” Parenting,
We need to let our kids make mistakes. It is how they learn about the world.
It is how they build resilience to take exciting risks in their lives and try new things.
By supporting our children to try things, and by standing with them when things don’t work out, we are showing them that they can survive the imperfections of life.
Failure is not when things don’t work out, Failure is never trying.
NOT GIVING ADVICE
It can be so hard not to offer the solution, but more often than not our kids don’t actually want one,
They just want a sounding board.
There is some science here.
Every time we jump in with advice or a solution to our children’s “problem” we block them from using their brain to find their own way out.
If we can stop giving advice and start asking leading questions for our kids to think about, then we will actually be helping our children’s brains to think around a problem to find a solution of their own.
When we try to understand our kids it can have a huge impact on how our children perceive themselves and us.
All too often we come to situations with our kids looking to “stop” something. Stop a fight. “Stop” bad language. “Stop” laying around the house.
When we can come to our kids and ask “why” when we can try to understand what is happening and why, then we do two things.
First we connect with our child. We are creating a dialogue over a demand.
Second, we are offering our child space to look at their own behaviour or actions and have some self awareness to understand it for themselves.
Again, we are helping to get their problem solving brain working and building neural pathways for problem solving and autonomy.
NOT TAKING IT PERSONALLY
When we can remember that our kids behaviour is not about us, or a reflection of us, it makes us far less reactive and more able to meet our child from a place of maturity and logic over hurt and defensiveness. This keeps communication open and lowers chances of conflict and resistance.
If you want to lean more about being a more conscious parent and how you can help your kids be more resilient, better communicators, and more confident, then click the link below.