Creative Child

Parenting Tips from A to Z: A-I

by Rebecca Eanes

Parenting Tips from A to Z

C is for Connection

I’ve written before about how connection is the parenting key. You can read my full explanation on that here, but basically we have more influence on our kids when they feel connected to us. When they trust us and feel that we are on their side, they accept our limits and the lessons we teach them much more readily. Many traditional parenting practices actually erode connection and pit parent against child in a never-ending struggle for power. It doesn’t have to be that way! In my new book, Positive Parenting: An Essential Guide, I’ll show you how to end the power struggles and reconnect at the heart.

D is for Disciplining Gently

Effective discipline is discipline that teaches and empowers. When discipline is harsh or unfair, children don’t learn well from it because upset brains don’t take in information as well. Even the typical forms of discipline, such as time-out and grounding cause disconnection which wears away our influence.

And while there is plenty of research that supports positive, gentle discipline, the simple fact is that children – the smallest and most vulnerable humans – deserve to be treated with respect, care, and dignity. Discipline gently.

E is for Empathy

Empathy, the ability to understand and share in the feelings of another, is an important aspect of positive parenting. When we remain empathic, we are available to help our children through difficult emotions, meeting them with understanding and providing comfort as well as guidance. Remaining empathic can be difficult if our tendency is to bristle at strong emotions.

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Sometimes their anger or sadness triggers discomfort in ourselves that we want to turn away from, and showing empathy through that requires mindfulness and strength. Yet, when we can be empathetic to our children’s experiences, we connect with them on a deeper level and help build in them good emotional health. 

F is for Following Your Inner Voice

There is no shortage of parenting advice available today. Parents must learn to be discerning. Take what works for you and leave the rest. If it feels bad, trust your gut. Many articles and well-meaning people will try to convince you that you’re too soft, that you’re spoiling your kids, and that your child needs an old-fashioned spanking. If the advice makes you feel uncomfortable or uneasy, let it go.

G is for Getting Support

Parents need people in their lives who support their ideals and visions. We need people who listen to our struggles and triumphs. Make it a point to reach out and connect with people. Invite other parents into your home. Start a book club. Join a local mom’s group. Accept help when friends and family offer it. Parenting alone is tough. Get support.

H is for Habits and Routines

Life is just easier with young children when you have a good routine infused with loving habits and rituals. This goes beyond having lunch around the same time every day to real connecting daily habits like reading together every morning, singing a song while you wash hands, playing music during clean up time, mealtime prayers, and special talking time before bed.

Habits and routines offer several connection points throughout the day when you come together and say “I see you. I’m present.”

I is for Innocence

There are many ways in which we can protect and preserve our children’s innocence. We can treat them with respect and dignity, being careful not to shame or humiliate them. We can allow them to be little and not let too much stress and pressure invade their lives too early.

We can watch closely what we allow into our homes through television and internet. We can teach them about online safety and what to do when strangers talk to them. Kurt Chambers said, “The innocence of children is what makes them stand out as a shining example to the rest of mankind.”

Part 2 of Parenting Tips from A to Z Next!

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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