As a parent of two, I have learned a lot about what is and is not effective through experience. Strong parenting often involves leading by example. For instance, to teach children to control their anger, one must not have angry outbursts themselves. I want to encourage parents to look at themselves and recognize how their behavior and actions affect their child’s upbringing.
Another aspect I focus on is helping parents realize that taking care of themselves promotes better parenting. The analogy I use is how flight attendants instruct parents to put on their own oxygen mask before helping their child with theirs. The better we take care of ourselves, the more equipped we are to take care of others. Furthermore, when parents understand their needs and triggers, they can address and deal with various challenges that inevitably come up while raising their children.
Parenting also benefits from constant evolution. Though it is good to make use of the tools that have been handed down to us for generations, it is also essential to update our toolbox as circumstances change, and we gain new insights.
Examples of modern tools include:
- Upping parental self-care.
- Resting during a heated conflict.
- Not engaging in a power struggle with children.
- Avoiding negative adjectives and definitions when addressing behavior.
- Practicing self-compassion.
Part of effective parenting is realizing that each child is different and may require an alternative approach or level of support. The more tools and strategies a parent has to employ, the better they will be at catering to their child’s needs and helping them achieve growth.