Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Keys to a Strong Parenting Foundation

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Think back through your recent parenting journey. Can you think of a time when you felt like there was so much more to parenting than you had ever thought possible? There is so much joy and excitement with having kids, but somehow parenting can easily end up being more than you imagined before those little munchkins came into your life. A good part of that comes from the fact that we’re overwhelmed with messages of perfect parenting. The endless Pinterest pins, mommy bloggers, cute kids posted on Facebook and more. It’s tiring!

I have served side-by-side with parents for six years now. In that time, the things I have learned led me to three things that I consider foundational for parents to know, understand, and use to simplify their role. Parenting is as easy as this:
  1. child development,
  2. temperament,
  3. and emotion management.

Child Development. Parents should be aware of what is typical for their child’s age and where their child is in his/her development. This can easily be adjusted for parents with kids who have special needs as well. Fortunately, there are a lot of great resources out there that give you the milestones. I encourage you to learn more about your child’s development at these websites:

Temperament. Your child’s temperament is the foundation for his/her personality. It helps you understand who he/she is and how he/she will react in situations. It’s also important to understand your own temperament as the parent. How your temperaments interact with one another will affect your parenting. Help Me Grow has previously done a post about temperament, which will help you understand further: Parenting and Children's Temperament

Emotion Management. Let’s face it: there are times when you don’t want to be your child’s parent, and there are times when your heart is bursting with pride, joy, love and you endlessly want to cuddle with your child. As parents we’re tasked to teach our kids about their emotions and manage our own. This can be a hard thing to balance. Here’s a great Help Me Grow blog post to help you do so: Helping Children Recognize and Manage Their Emotions

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There is no doubt that parenting is the most rewarding job you’ll ever have! But it will also cause you to bang your head endlessly with questions about how to handle your children. Focus on these three things to simplify your approach on parenting and you’ll find you’re taking greater steps toward becoming the parent you imagined yourself to being!

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