Let your mantra for parenting include the 4 c’s. Confidence, calmness, consistency, and caring. Say it over to yourself. Do any of these words really resonate with you? Do any scare you?
It is hard to remain confident when you are a parent because, internet. Everyone else seems to have an opinion on how they do things and it is easy to second guess your choices. If we were to try to make a list of things parents feel insecure about, it would be too long. But, find your path and stick to it with confidence. The fact that you are many multiples over of their age gives you the life experience to probably know better. So, when the kids are whining and about to win you over on that ice cream snack at 4:30pm, remind yourself that YOU are the adult and YOU know better, despite their desperate pleas.
Calmness is essential in parenting–especially when the kids are testing your patience. If you react, they’ve won. You need to model being in control in difficult situations and that means staying calm when an injustice happens upon your kid. Use it as a learning tool and show them how to get through tough situations in grown-up ways. Like using clear, concise, communication. When you are disciplining your children, do not screech and show them how crazy they are making you. Speak slowly and in a low timber and make sure they are showing you proper listening (quiet, eyes to eyes, body not moving and facing yours, nod/repeat to show understanding).
Consistency is the third part of this very relevant mantra. Are you and your partner (and the other caretakers) able to give the kids the same answer each time to their many varied attempts at thwarting the task at hand? Kids are known for testing boundaries–its their job, and they are good at it. But you are the adult and you need to show them that you are able to sick to the right decision for them even when tested. It’s hard. But if the answer was no more than one TV show tonight, no pleading, begging, or negotiating should be entertained UNLESS you want to have all your answers questioned with pleading, begging, and negotiating. And you don’t, so be consistent.
Caring. The last and most important part of the mantra. Let your love for your children overflow. Love them for who they are and not what you wish they were. Show them tenderness. Give them your attention. Listen to them. Hug them. Relish in their need for you. Show them what it is like to love and be loved.
Be confident, calm, and consistent as ways to show them how much you care about them. You are the adult, so act like one…not perfect but looking for solutions for the imperfections because that is what you will one day want your children to do as well.
We are here to help you actualize this mantra in your home. If you have found yourself heightened to any of these words, contact us. You are not alone and you will not be judged. Parenting is really, really hard and good parenting is really, really, really hard. Why not give your kids your best? Don’t they deserve it?