10 Parenting Tips I Have Learned in the Past 3 1/2 Years
I want to start by saying I am be now means the perfect parent, trust me. We all make mistakes. These are just some things I have learned throughout the past few years either from my own experiences or other moms.
1. You can never love your children too much. This piece of advice came from my mom. She told me this the day Sophia was born. This helps me in many ways throughout my day. This helps me to take my time when reacting to my girls in any way. Sometimes, they just need a hug and a kiss.
2. Let your children have a “moment” or a tantrum. We call them moments because I felt tantrums sounded so negative and there is nothing wrong with our children needing a few minutes to be upset. I simply make sure they are in a safe place and let them have a moment or two. Now, I do ignore these moments but I still calmly let them kick and scream. I always let me girls know whenever they are finished I am ready for a hug. Just the other day Isabella was kicking and screaming on the floor of the playroom because I wouldn’t let her do something and Sophia looks at me and says, “Mom, she just needs a moment”.
3. Take a moment for yourself. Sometimes, when one or both of my girls are doing something that displeases me I need to step back and take a minute before I react. I know if I react out of anger my message is not going to get received in the same way. I always try to make sure that when I am disciplining there is a lesson being learned. I never want to discipline out of anger. Trust me, sometimes I make this mistake and then I hate myself for it.
4. Use timeouts sparingly. I first want to say every child is different and what works for one may not work for another. I know everyone has their own opinion about whether to use timeouts and how to use them. For us timeouts work best when we only use them if we feel no other form of discipline would work. I prefer to take things away then give a timeout. With the ages of my girls I try to make the conscience go with the action. I feel my girls learn better that way. Now, I have to say Steve likes timeouts a lot more then I do. If we do use timeouts we always make sure to talk to our girls about what happened and what could have been done differently next time. We try to let the girls do the talking. We want them to learn to problem solve.
5. Sometimes everyone just needs to take a breath. When either of my girls is in the heat of the moment I simply tell them to breathe. Since, Sophia is 3 1/2 she really gets this and she will pause from her yelling fit, take a breathe, and start over. I use this one a lot when I don’t like someones tone. I really try to teach my girls how to calm themselves down. I want my children to be able to control their tempers.
6. Listen to your heart. This is another piece of advice that came from my mom. She always told me no matter what I did in life to listen to your heart. But now that I am a mom it means even more to me. This helps me get through a lot of difficult parenting situations. We all know being a parent is the most difficult job. We also know that our children mean more to us then anything else in the world.
7. Take time and listen to your children. I really try and do this all day, everyday. Our children can teach us so much about life, love, and happiness. My girls know that no matter what I always have time for them. They know there is always time for hugs and kisses.
8. Enjoy being with your children and let them know. Try to choose activities that you and them like to do. This really helps build a relationship.
9. Be silly. This is something we do a lot in our house. We are three pretty silly girls. This one goes really well with number 8. Kids love to be silly and they love to laugh. The girls and I are always dancing, singing, and just being silly. We love to giggle. Just writing this one out make me smile, I simply began thinking about all of our happy moments together.
10. Choose happiness. Our children know if we are happy or not. Our children feed off our temperament. Now, I am not saying our children can never see us sad or upset, it is good for them to see all of our moods. I am simply saying try to choose happiness whenever possible. I am a huge believer in we make our own happiness. We choose to be happy or not and our children are really good at knowing how we are feeling.
I have one extra one.
11. Let go of perfection. I have learned the best thing we can do as parents is to not try to make our children or our lives perfect. There is really no such thing and it can make for a really difficult life. I will tell you before I had children I always said my children are never going to be dirty and they are always going to look perfect and my house was always going to be clean. Ha. Who was I kidding. That is truly no way to live and really we can’t put that kind of pressure on our poor children. My mom always laughs when Sophia goes out with bedhead and Isabella has a messy shirt and my house has toys everywhere. Hey, that’s life!
I have also learned that no two children are the alike and what works for one child may not work for another. So, from my experiences the best thing we as parents can do is live and learn. We are all going to make mistakes, but as long as we learn from them we are doing an amazing job. I know we can be very hard one ourselves. So, try to give yourself a break and remember all our children want is to be loved.
I would love to hear some of your parenting tips in the comments below. I love to learn from other parents. I really think we can all help each other.