Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Things I've learned (parenting tips)

So today was a not-so-good-day with the kiddos.
Why is it that when I have a not so good day I think  
"this is the day I should give out parenting advice!"

1.  Keep a 10 year focus- just think in 10 years am I still going to be mad about the sharpie on the wall, stash of candy wrappers and Sprite can behind the bed or the fact that my child just pulled down his pants and peed on a bush at Disney world (all true stories).  This 10 year focus will help you not hurt them.

2.  Work on your sense of humor- this stuff is funny!  Don't get so bogged down with your rules that you miss the joy in parenting these crazies!  

3.  Sometime give them what they (think) they want- as long as it doesn't hurt or shame them. 
                  -Want to throw a fit?  OK,  just do it in your room.
                  -Want to be in charge?  Great, be in charge of laundry today.

4.  Sometimes it's OK to let it go- some days we as the parents get so worked up that we can't possibly be effective.  That's OK.  Those days just crank up the music and dance it all off.  You don't have to win them all:)

5.  Do not yell and scream at them-  Want to prove you've lost control of the situation?  Just start yelling.

6.  Be quick to offer grace- 
"If I err, let me err on the side of mercy."  
Beth Moore
Your kindness toward them will win their heart quicker than anything else.  Sometimes the best thing to do is offer to help them finish their consequence. 

7.  At the end of the day work very hard to be more connected than when the conflict started.  This happens best when you empathize with them.  "I'm sorry you had a hard day.  But I love you even when you call me names, drop candy down the AC vent, eat an entire box of gum, refuse to do your school.

8.  Don't put too much weight into lists like these.  Every child and parent are different, with different backgrounds and struggles.  Don't get bound up in a list from me when God wants to teach you personally. 

The obligatory cute kid and dog pic.

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