I am always right because I AM the mom – I think, a long time ago when my oldest was small, I used to think this. But on this parenting journey I am on, I admit that I make mistakes. The best parenting tip I picked up is that learning never stops as long as we are conscious and really want to be the best we can.
Are you ALWAYS right (even when you are not) because you are the parent?
Believe it or not, making mistakes can even be fun. Let me explain what I mean. I believe making mistakes and admitting when I am wrong to my children teaches my children (and myself) a lot!
Here is an example: I am tired. It’s 8 p.m., a school night . We only just got done eating dinner and the kids are just are being silly, and not listening to all the things we need to get done, like NOW! I am getting on them. I’m feeling my patience dwindle. My voice is rising and I feel like a NAG is coming! I hate this feeling more than anything.
As the heat rises in my head and I’m getting after them for the 5th time, I realize I am totally coming from a NEGATIVE place instead of coming from a positive place! Yuk.
Parenting Tip #1: Be in Tune & Stop Everything
Sometimes I don’t realize it right away, but I have become very in tune with my feelings so if I am suddenly feeling negative emotions. I am really getting “on them” THEN, I stop everything.
I sit my children down and tell them what I am feeling. I tell them my intention and what I want “for” them and “why” I want this for them.
Parenting Tip #2: Say THIS Instead of THAT
I might say something like this addressing each thing I want them to do:
- “Do you know that I love you soooo much and I want you to brush your teeth so you can have clean shiny teeth!”
- “I want you to read because it’s so good for you and I want you to experience the joy of reading these amazing books!”
- “I want you to relax and feel happy and drift off to sleep so you can be well rested and feel good like yourself in the morning.”
Compare those to these:
- “Hurry Up! Brush your Teeth.”
- “Come on, what’s the matter with you?”
- “Why are you taking so long? You still gotta do this… and this… and this…”
- and so on…
I tell them I did not like the way I was feeling and so I am saying all this differently now (or I am going to do this differently).
Parenting Tip #3: Say Sorry if You Need To
I say sorry if I need to and demonstrate the “better” way to do things. I say this is a “DO OVER”. I explain to them that it’s okay to make mistakes. I am learning tooand that we can do this better together. As long as we are learning something and we try to do it better. “Just because I am the parent does not make me better than my children!”
Parenting Tip #4: Do Overs
By showing kids I can catch myself and do a “do over”, they can learn to do a “do over” too. Then I can praise them when I see them consciously stop and decide to do it better. They feel happy and good about themselves that they had the power and strength to stop and do the right thing.
Tip #4 Practical Application
One night before bed, my son came into my daughter’s room when we were about to read her book. She started to raise her voice and tell him “Get Out!” and then she quickly grabbed pillows and a blanket off her top bunk and said to her brother. “Here, come down here on the floor”.
She went down too and they got all cozy while I read from a new book series that they can now share togetherWarriors 1: Into the Wild (Warriors: The Prophecies Begin).
It was really nice! She told me she was about to yell at him and then she changed it and told him to come lie down. I told her “I saw that! That was great and doesn’t that feel so much better?” She agreed. I have found that by letting them “see” and, more importantly, “feel” the difference between the two different ways. Of course, it does not always work out this great, but when it does it’s very touching and good learning for all of us!