“Parenting… Strip it down and what do you really have? A relationship with a unique little person God entrusted to you to nurture, love and raise”.
Being a mother of two boys and a parent coach, I have always asked myself: “what is it that really makes a parent’s job easy and successful?”
After reading many articles, buying parenting books everywhere I go, and analyzing my personal experience as a mom, I have come to a conclusion which I believe most of you already know: giving our children our unconditional love and time, and establishing a good communication to connect with them, being consistent in discipline and role modeling positive behaviors are the indispensable ingredients that make parenting a successful journey!
Sounds weird right? Have you ever asked yourself why some kids behave in a certain negative way? Well, let me remind you of this: “the kids who need the most love will ask for it in the most unloving way”. Gary Chapman, in his bestselling book the 5 languages of love says: “discipline is an act of love. And the more a child feels loved, the easier it is to discipline that child” In other words love your kids first, and everything you want to teach them becomes easy. All aspects of a child’s development require a foundation of love. Our children need to know they are loved in order to grow into giving, loving, and responsible adults. Why unconditional love? Because they have the right to know that we love them no matter what they are or do. Our love for our kids has to be the most consistent, stable, and obviously expressed force in our homes.
Electronics and media are becoming substitutes for human relationships. In our over-scheduled lives, we often talk of making quality time for our children. I agree, a few moments, when parents are truly present and undistracted, can be most meaningful. At the expense of saying something unpopular, though, quantity matters too. Most parents are overwhelmed by their daily multiple obligations, but we need to make available as much time as possible for our children. To some extent, the quality of our time with them is influenced by the quantity of that time. Don’t you agree? How many times did it happen that your children went to sleep and you told yourself “I didn’t see them today” or “I wish I had more time to play with them” Still don’t have time? Then it is time to set your priorities in life. I am sure your family always comes first… In the end “to be in your children’s memories tomorrow, you have to be in their lives today”.
You are the most important teacher your children will ever have. Realizing the deep effect that your behavior has on the healthy development of your children is the first step to parenting or teaching though modeling. Role model whatever you want your kids to learn, be the mirror where your children see the best of themselves. It is the most effective parenting technique! But first, make sure you’re showing the good example. For instance, don’t expect your children to control their behavior when you can’t control your own. You don’t have to be perfect, but do the best you can to be honorable.
Electronics and media are becoming substitutes for human relationships. Free yourself from any distraction and communicate with your children. Look at them when they talk, and listen to them with your eyes and heart in order to understand what they really want, their needs. It is also important to emphasize talking versus lecturing or criticizing. In order to do so, we just need to engage into a natural conversation. Listening and talking is the key to a healthy connection between your children and you.
Being consistent is just as important as any of the previous key points I have just talked about. Can you imagine how confusing for a child it is to let him play on iPad for the whole day while the next day you become angry at him after having his iPad for two hours? Most parents I come across say they give up after having to deal with tantrums and nagging, especially after they have had a busy tiring day. At the beginning of a new structure, things seem a bit hard for both children and parents. But once it becomes a routine, kids will look at their parents as a reliable source of comfort and trust.
Successful parenting is a long progressive path, in which you need to be patient in order to achieve positive results. Just believe you can do it, and you’re halfway there! Enjoy the most rewarding job God has offered you…
Haifa Dada -
Youth, Parent and Family Coach