Five practical changes for better parenting

October 5, 2008 at 3:55 am Leave a comment

Our beautiful and courageous clients teach us almost as much as our own children do.  Are you UNWILLING TO SETTLE? Try these changes.  Email us at info@naturalparentingcenter.com for personal phone or email coaching.

1.  Refuse to use time outs or any other kind of punishment from this second forward.  This alone will make an enormous difference in the quality of your life and your connection with your children.  You will muddle along for awhile trying to figure out what to do instead, and that’s just fine.  Punishment, no matter what the circumstance,  is ineffective and harmful to both of you. 

2.  Be fearless about others’ opinions of you. Refuse to let your concern about being judged have any power over you whatsoever.  When your toddler is screaming and flailing in the middle of the grocery store, put your blinders on to every other person in the region and focus 100% on your child.  You will be judged.  That has nothing to do with you.  Your child needs you desperately in this moment.

3.  Shut up.  Close your mouth whenever you are in doubt about how to handle a situation or what to stay instead of what you used to say (“what do I say when I don’t say “good job”).  Let silence be your new default.  The first thing that spews out of your mouth will almost always be your old, unhelpful conditioned response (e.g. what your parents said to you).  If we are ever to evolve as a species, we must start changing our responses to our children. And change takes some figuring out.  In the meantime, shhhhhhhhh.

4.  Give yourself empathy.  Come on, start practicing right now.  Close your eyes and murmur some kind words to yourself…”wow, you are really willing to learn.  of course you’d like to do things better and you will.  look at who you are…consider how much you care…be gentle with yourself.  you have so much love in you and you are un-learning habits from way way back.” Be a nurturing parent for yourself.  Very important.

5.  Appreciate.  Your child, your self, your life.  Wherever you put your attention, that’s what you get more of.  Seriously.  Water the garden, not the weeds.

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The Parent Taboo by Michael Mendizza (quotes from..) children need limits…

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