You’re probably reading this article because of the plethora of how-tos and parenting articles you found online. While we’re happy that you clicked our article, we just don’t want to be classified as one of those. Most of the articles sprawled all over the Internet, while well-meaning, recycles the same tips over and over and over again. We’re here to pique your interest even further.
In your search engine queries, have you read an article that actually stood out? One that helped you in parenting or in the anticipation of? Have you ever read an article that resonated with you? An article that made you take notes (or mental notes) to be revisited for future reference?
Sadly, the answer is most probably no.
Luckily for you, we don’t like leaving parents (new and old) high and dry when looking for the content they want to see. As champions of living conscious, healthy, and balanced lives, let TheGetWell walk you through the steps to more effective parenting.
We understand that you want your child to be a free thinker. We also understand that you want to raise a child that follows rules and is mindful of authority. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to just choose one. Your child can be both.
You, as parents, should set boundaries. Boundaries are rules and routines that you should set and, in turn, should be followed by your children without any type of negotiation. Boundaries set by parents should be non-negotiable and should be strictly followed. Some great examples of boundaries are sleep time, mealtime, and bedtime. Setting boundaries gives children a sense of responsibility as well as a better understanding of rules.
Dinner Time is Family Time
In addition to setting boundaries, it should be a rule that dinner time is family time. Once your children start going to school, and you get busier with work, the time that you spend with each other gets fewer and fewer. The solution? Sitting down at the dinner table at the same time and, well… talk. Dinner should be an uncompromisable bonding time for you and your family. It should be the time when you talk about how each other’s days went and if there is anything new that’s going on in each other’s lives.
Now that you have a little one looking up to you as their primary role model, the best preparation a parent can do is to be more mindful. But what does that mean? What exactly is being mindful? Mindfulness, according to renowned mobile application Headspace, is the ability to be fully present in the moment. This means that you are being fully engaged with whatever you are doing at the moment without distraction or judgment. This also involves a complete grasp or focus on what your thoughts and feelings are at any given moment. In addition, Headspace claims that mindfulness can have numerous benefits such as reduced sadness and stress that leads to increased levels of focus and happiness.
Now how does that relate to being an effective parent?
You always hear how childhood goes by so quickly. By being mindful, you allow yourself to be present at any given moment while you watch your child grow and develop. In addition, being mindful will keep you, as a parent, in check and in line with the parenting goals and the boundaries you have set for you and your child. By becoming a mindful parent, you are always seeing the bigger picture while still adhering to the parenting goals you have set.
Your Child’s Self-Esteem is More Important than You Think
It’s common knowledge that children build their confidence through the affirmation of their self-esteem. However, there’s a fine line between building their self-esteem and giving them false confidence. Building a child’s self-esteem starts at home. Here are a few tips on how to build your child’s self-esteem without overpraising them:
Let them figure things out themselves
- Independence, in such an interconnected modern society, is hard to teach. By letting your children figure things out on their own, they would become more perceptive, responsible, and outspoken whenever there’s a problem or an issue that needs to be resolved.
Give them responsibilities
- And compliment them for a job well done! In addition to letting them figure things out on their own, it is also important to give them responsibilities that require them to work independently. This trains them that tasks need to be finished and that completing a task will give them a sense of accomplishment.
Raise them to be decisive
- Proper decision making is probably one of the most, if not THE most important skill that your children need to learn in order to become great adults. Decision making is a crucial trait because it instills in your child that the decisions they make impact their lives in one way or another. Additionally, decision making teaches them that there is always a choice to make, no matter how easy or difficult a situation may be.
Never draw comparisons
- This is the most common mistake that parents make when they have a child or have children. Never, ever, ever draw comparisons. Your child, like you, is his/her own person. Parents compare their children to more successful siblings, cousins, or other family members which, in turn, damages their self-esteem.
- Teach your child to embrace uniqueness– and that being unique is a great thing. Teach them that each person excels at their own pace, and in their own field. Once they understand that their uniqueness makes them great, it’s only a matter of time before they pass it along to other children.
Never focus on mistakes
- Mistakes are part of the learning process. Your children will definitely make mistakes as they try to become more independent and decide on their own. Your job, as a parent, is to NOT make them feel worse about making mistakes. Never ever highlight their mistakes no matter how bad the mistakes were. Focus on teaching them how to recover instead. In this way, you are indirectly helping them become problem solvers.
Be Loving but Firm
As parents, it is inevitable to coddle and shelter your child as you have already experienced how unfair and cold the world can be. However, keep in mind that you won’t be by their side forever to help them and guide them. Be loving to your children but firm. Make sure that they understand that things will not always go their way. Let them understand that failure is a part of the learning process.