Be a Better Parent

Let’s face it: parenting is hard. They say parenting is the hardest job you’ll ever do and I believe it. But how often do we take our job of parenting seriously?

You keep your skills up-to-date for your day job - now it’s time to improve your skills as a parent as well. We have culled these five tips from experts, publications, and other moms and dads. No matter if we have infants or teenagers, we can all be better parents:

Let your kid be themselves. Like it or not, your child is not a reflection of you - he’s not always going to like the same things as you or behave in the same way as you. Celebrate your child’s uniqueness - don’t try to make them into something they are not.

Spend time with your kids. This may sound obvious, but how much time to you actually spend interacting and playing with your children each day? We’re not talking about standing in the same room as them while you do one thing and they do another. We mean getting down on your hands and knees and really interacting. Your child will love it and you just might learn something about your tot. Yet another benefit is that the more “time in” you spend with your child the fewer “time-outs” you’ll need to give them. Give your child attention and you’ll be amazed by how much more he cooperates.

Set boundaries consistently. Time and again we have found that the most effective way to set boundaries is by choosing a few important limits and enforcing them consistently. Let your child have space to make decisions on her own. When you set limits, make sure they are important to you and always enforce them. Kids crave limits, but they also crave consistency.

To change your child you first have to change yourself. This is a hard one, but it’s true. If you don’t want your kids to lie, you always have to tell the truth. If you want your kids to show respect to you, you have to show respect to them. You have to model the behavior you want your kid to emulate. “Do as I say, not as I do” simply doesn’t work.

Have fun! Being a parent shouldn’t be all about discipline or teaching lessons. Give yourself permission to goof around and be the boob sometimes. Show off your fun side to your kids and they will respond! Yes, parenting is the toughest job you’ll ever do, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun along the way.

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