Parenting is tough! With school back in session, you may breathe a sigh of relief as your routine returns. But you’re also facing mornings struggling to get out the door, afternoons rushing to finish homework, and evenings urging little ones to get some shut eye.
Is this starting to wear you down? Do you and your kid spend more time arguing than connecting? You are not alone. Check out these 7 parenting secrets from Hannah Hopkins, MSW, who has experience with child therapy and positive youth development.
1. Focus on the donut, not the hole. Focus on your strengths and your child’s strengths, rather than the problems or conflicts in your parent/child relationship.
2. Respond, don’t react. Your child’s feelings are not your feelings; you don’t need to escalate when your child escalates.
3. You can’t give away what you don’t have. If you can’t offer patience and acceptance to yourself, how will you be able to offer it to your child?
4. If you can’t say it in 10 words or less, don’t say it. When you over-explain yourself to a child, your message can easily get lost.
5. Praise effort, not the product. When your encouragement is specific, your child can more easily understand how to replicate the behavior.
6. Let your child show you what he or she is capable of. In other words, don’t do things for your children that they can do on their own. Self-efficacy equals confidence!
7. It’s not what you do that matters, it’s what you do afterward. NO parent is perfect, and ALL parents make mistakes. The way you repair and recover from those mistakes is an important example for your child…never be afraid to say “I messed up” and explain how and apologize.
For more tips and guidance toward improving your relationship with your child, check out our Child Parent Relationship Therapy group. In 10 weeks, you will learn more about the way your child thinks and how to solve discipline and behavior issues, AND you’ll spend time with other parents who know exactly what you’re going through. Groups start on September 12th…enroll now!