By Lisa Edwards, Parent Coach
Are you sometimes frustrated with your parenting? Do you wish you could do better, but you just don’t know how? We all do! There are definitely times we feel more confident as a parent and others where we could use support. Parenting with a purpose is designed to help you strengthen your parenting and give you support to raise the most loving, wonderful children!
Parenting with Purpose is a framework based on 5 simple steps.
- Seek Knowledge
- Set Goals
- Make Adjustments
- Accept Guidance
You can then apply this framework to all parenting topics including, troubles in school, dealing with divorce, mental health, friendships, etc.
Parenting with Purpose gives a structure to how you can deal with many difficult topics and situations while parenting and provides the right support.
I remember that moment when I realized I was pregnant. So much joy! But then came the doubts…wait a minute, I don’t know what I am doing. How am I supposed to learn everything before she is born? So you pick up your first copy of “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” and then closer to the due date you pick up “What to Expect the First Year”. These are the best first steps. You won’t learn everything about the next 18 years before the child is born. Instead you need to take each stage as it comes and make sure you are continually seeking new understanding and knowledge about child development and these stages.
Where can this knowledge come from? Does it all have to come from experts? Must I start reading research and peer reviewed articles? Absolutely not. The knowledge can come from so many different areas. You may read books or articles, find some fantastic blogs to follow. You may attend parenting classes at your local school. But one of the best…is to talk with fellow parents. They have been through it all, and they can definitely share their experiences. Don’t hesitate to share your experiences either with new parents.
You have probably heard lots of research on why setting goals is so important in your life and at work. You may set long term goals, with short term goals in between. Goals help give us direction and a roadmap of where to go. Many parents have not realized the power of setting these goals in their parenting as well. It helps you to have a plan and be more mindful in your parenting.
Setting goals also gives an opportunity to really work with your partner in parenting and make sure that you are on the same page and working towards the same outcome. You need to communicate these goals with all adults that spend significant time with your children including daycare, grandparents, etc. It gives an opportunity to open the lines of communication and be clear about what you are working towards with your children.
Parents need time to reflect on their parenting. You need to accept that at times you will make mistakes. Have you ever wondered if you have “ruined” your children? Could you have been a better parent? At times, yes, we all could definitely have handled situations better or been more mindful in how we parent.
When our children were young, my husband and I did not want to spoil them and we tried the tough love at times, giving consequences. After we saw the anxiety grow in our children, we realized this was not the right thing for them. By reflecting on our parenting technique and accepting some of the mistakes we made, we realized we need to make adjustments in how we parented.
Be open to change. It was Albert Einstein who said, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.” Don’t do the same thing with your child over and over and expect their behavior or attitude to change. You may need to be the one to adjust, and as a parent you have that capacity much more so than a child.
Another key is to understand how you may need to adapt your parenting style for each individual child. While one child may respond to consequences, another child may respond more to positive reinforcement. Sometimes I wonder how I could have raised such different children. But I know that I need to react to situations differently with each of them.
Parenting can be downright confusing. Sometimes it feels like it is trial and error and it also has conflicting messages. You need to be consistent, yet open to change. The best thing is that as parents, we don’t have to go through this alone. There are so many places to seek help and support.
Make sure to join our Facebook Group to join the conversations with others.
If you feel you may need more individualized support, don’t hesitate to sign up for a Parent Coaching session. We are here for you.