7 ways to be an awesome parent
I would love to give credit to the creator of the above picture, but I honestly don't know who it is. So thank you for the beautiful acronym.
Since we talked about heavy subjects like adversity lately, I want to interject some practical parenting tools.
1) Awaken my children with love and kindness each morning
I was just reminded by my 24 year old that I would sometimes stand in the doorway with my hand at my hip , as in "You better move! Come on now. Get up!" I don't remember what I said but as a former home schooling mom , there were things to get done and subjects to be learned. Now , I get to enjoy sitting in the kitchen , sipping my cup of coffee and he joins me for a morning chat. He recently said:" I enjoy this. I never had that. Very true. "Yes, I enjoy ot too." It's never too late mom or dad.
2) I accept my children for who they are and love them the way they are
Acceptance is huge. It's never about love. Every parent would tell you that they love their children. Our children have inherent worth, just because they are. Not because of how they behave or what they accomplish . Not because of their GPA or sports medals. Can you put on different lenses and see them in a new light? Maybe you have given them labels, as i have in the past: the stubborn one, the quiet one, the strong willed one....as my coach says, " labels are for soup cans!" .
3) Encourage my children and praise them for at least one thing each day
There are studies on how dangerous "wrong" praise can be. Now don't get me wrong. Praising our children is a good thing. I encourage you to praise their character, not only their looks. Encourage the effort they put forth, not just the result. Praise the one thing that they do right every day that you take for granted.
4) I am spontaneous and fun and find ways to make my children laugh
Oh boy, when I make them laugh it usually involves me getting hurt. A much more harmless way I found, is going in their room and be silly . As in literally singing the " shake my sillies out " song. We are talking teenagers here in my house. With little ones , the opportunities are endless.
5) I am optimistic that my children will have a great life and live their dreams
So all of us worry moms, the " what if " moms, we need to step back and realize that our children are capable of having a great life. we can not program it for them, but we sure can speak life into them and let them know that we support them , even and especially when their dream is not the dream you had for them.
6) Model success each day by pursuing my own goals and living a happy, healthy life
This goes with number 5. Often we live our dreams through our children's life and that is a recipe for disaster. It takes a lot to really think about why we do what we do. It's never too late to stop and think and recalibrate. It took me a long time to set my own goals and start dreaming about my own life. By the way, I'm turning 50 next year. So, again, it's never too late.
7)Empathize with my children and thoughtfully listen and support them
Empathize with their big and small emotions. The more you do that , the better they will be at allowing themselves to really feel what's going on. And knowing that that very feeling is O.K.
Recently my youngest daughter asked me to get a gift for her oldest sister's Birthday, the day of the Birthday. My original thought was" no way, you could have asked me earlier, I'm not going back to the store." And then it hit me. The argument in my brain went like this: " Wait, you know gifts is one of her love languages and she really delights in giving gifts to others. She is generous . She delights in giving. You would crush her spirit by not taking her to the store. Come on, you have time, this is important to her." So we went to the store. And she was a happy gift giver.
You could write books on all seven points. And I'm sure books have been written on all of them. I think I'm going to post a list of good parenting books on the website.
Next week we will learn more about Shawn Achor and happiness.
You are loved. Deeply loved. Loved beyond measure.
Anonymous quote:" A word of encouragement during a failure is worth more than an hour of praise after success."
Until next time,
Write to me for a free from conflict to confidence session. I would love to connect with you.