With the busy schedules parents juggle, few of us can find the time to read an entire parenting book. Sometimes biting off just a little bit of wisdom is enough to start navigating your family’s day with more mindful ease.
1. LISTEN. Be an attentive audience. Take the time to listen to your child’s concerns, ideas and stories.
2. ENCOURAGE. Be sure to praise your child in response to her good efforts. Try to have praise outweigh corrections or discipline.
3. OPEN UP. Share information about yourself to help normalize your child’s experiences.
4. PLAY. Find time to bond over activities you both enjoy. Finding something you like, too, increases the likelihood that you will make time for your child.
5. APOLOGIZE. Admit mistakes and say you’re sorry now and then. Children are quick to forgive and will respect you for it.
6. AVOID COMPARISONS. Resist the temptation to compare your child to siblings or peers. Instead of motivating your child, comparisons tend to be shaming and undermine your child’s growth and happiness.
7. REFLECT. Learn to monitor your responses to problem behavior, rather than reacting quickly and punitively. Resisting an anxious response gives you the emotional space to gauge how serious a problem is and to solve it in cooperation with your child.
8. CONSIDER YOUR LIMITS. When prioritizing expectations and deciding with your child how to get them met, carefully consider what you can handle. Do you have the time or emotional resources to help your child follow through or to enforce consequences if he doesn’t?