Creative Child

5 Habits That Make Parenthood Easier

by Rebecca Eanes on Jun 10th, 2015

Continued...

Meet as a family every week.

If you aren't already doing a weekly family meeting, I highly recommend beginning this tradition. Family meetings serve many purposes. They really help the family to function more smoothly as a unit. During family meetings, it's beneficial to talk about what went well that week, what didn't, what needs to be addressed, and plans for the upcoming week. When everyone gets to voice their opinions and ideas, the family bond is strengthened.

When families work on problems together, children learn how to work with others in a team, troubleshoot, and problem-solve. I also like using family meetings as a time to share fond memories from the past week and to share our appreciations and gratitude of each other. When everyone in the family feels heard, understood, and appreciated, you can bet that parenthood will be a little easier.

Be clear and consistent.

Many parenting problems arise because we either aren't clear about the boundaries or we aren't consistent with enforcing those boundaries. Think of a “road closed” sign. It will stop you from going down that road, but unless there's a detour arrow, you're likely left stuck without knowing where to go next. Telling children what to stop doing is only half of discipline, and ending it there leaves things unclear. It's like putting up the “road closed” sign without detour arrow.

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If we don't show them where to go from there, it's not likely they'll go in the direction we want them to go. They may, instead, find their own new path to the destination they're trying to get to, which is almost always getting a need met. Alternatively, they may crash through the sign and keep on going if the boundary isn't firm and held consistently. If we are both consistent in saying “you may not go that way” and clear in saying “here's the better way to go,” parenthood gets easier because it isn't an all-day marathon of power struggles.

Lean on your village.

We aren't meant to do this thing alone, and yet I've heard many parents say how lonely they feel every day. Without support, parenthood can be too overwhelming. You may have to intentionally create a village by seeking other parents in your area who share in your beliefs and goals, or you may already have a village that you've just lost touch with. Sacrificing our own mental and physical well-being doesn't make us better parents. Find support. You may never get a nap, but if you have people to talk to, people who will really listen, it makes parenthood a little easier.

 

Rebecca Eanes, is the founder of positive-parents.org and creator of Positive Parenting: Toddlers and Beyond. She is the bestselling author of 3 books. Her newest book,Positive Parenting: An Essential Guide, is more than a parenting book, it's a guide to human connection. She has also written The Newbie's Guide to Positive Parentingand co-authored the book, Positive Parenting in Action: The How-To Guide to Putting Positive Parenting Principles in Action in Early ChildhoodShe is the grateful mother to 2 boys.

 

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