April is the month of changes, new beginning and hope – life starts coming up from the ground and sun shines warmer and the days get longer. Let us use this new beginning to go on a Parenting Detox and spring clean some old dusty habits and become a better, happier parent.What do we mean by a Parenting Detox? Well simply it means start to do things differently, stop-doing things that don’t work and start doing new things that will lead to a positive change! If something is not working, change it!
Let’s get rid of and let’s start:
- Get rid of old habits: such as nagging, commanding or yelling. We can all agree that they really don’t work! And start to ‘choose’ with care what you have to say and let the rest go – choose your battles. Will they really go to school without shoes if you don’t remind them 10 times?
- Get rid of negativity: as parents we have a tendency to focus on the wrong of our child (and ourselves) but what we choose to focus on we will start cultivating and grow! So let’s start using different and more positive words. What words/phrases do you need to stop using i.e.: ‘hurry up’, ‘STOP it’, ‘get moving’, ‘cut it out’ etc. and replace them with more productive and positive ones, for example: ‘Please eat your breakfast so we can get to school on time, thank you’, ‘Tom, time to go to bed, please’.
- Get rid of perfection: most parents want to do their best and that often means that we end up doing too much or beat ourselves up if we don’t get it right ALL the time or get it all done. But we can’t do it all anyway so we might as well be proud of what we have done and start praising yourself for ALL the small and important things that you ARE doing. Notice when your kids are smiling, happy and well-behaved – it is because of YOU. Why not make a list every day of what you have done well today: smiled, hugged your child, said ‘I love you’, every little thing helps. Sometimes good is enough!
Do more of:
- Become a creative parent: stop listening, looking and comparing yourself to other parents. Check in with yourself and follow your instinct; if it is right for you and your family it IS the right thing!
- Laugh more: with heart and soul and your kids will do the same back to you.
- Make time for you and your partner. Yes how it used to be before you had kids.
- Chill out and spend mindful time in the moment with your children, chores/emails and texts can wait till later – right now your kids are the most important.
Supplements you will need during your detox:
- A book of gratitude every night to remind you of all the things you can be thankful for in your life – I am sure there are lots, ‘choose’ to find them!
- A jar of praise: praise effort not only achievement – become your kids ‘positive spy’ and catch them in everything they are doing well, positive and good. You will see it has a knock-on-effect and they are more likely to do it again and better next time!
- A box of smiles: look at your child every day and smile with your mouth and eyes – smile as you mean it!
- A bottle of love: remind them, and yourself, that you DO love them unconditionally (yes there might be times when we don’t like them, but we do LOVE them). Tell them every day ‘I love you because you are you.’
While we are at it, why not give yourself a break from the constant entertaining and worry about your kids being bored. Sometimes the best gift you can give your children is ‘the Gift of Boredom’ as it will lead to independence (as they have to manage their own time), creative and deep thinking. CLICK here to read more ‘STOP entertaining your kid ALL the Time’.
Best Wishes from The ParentingSuccess Team xx