Haven’t we heard most parents say at one time or another, “Kids don’t come with an owner’s manual?” While this is a true statement, and generally spoken with a certain feeling of stress, most of us manage to figure out parenting one day at a time, one situation at a time with our children.
Not being one to leave things to chance, least of all my motherhood, I knew I wanted to create a parenting style that would feel good to me. I chose to start by looking back at how I had been living my life up to the time I became a parent; and thinking of all the philosophies I had been exposed to and found value in my earlier years. As the mother of three grown children now, my parenting was a daily choice and a daily practice over the course of their childhood.
While I tested and tried many things over the years, I will share with you my Top 5 Tips to a more easeful relationship with your child and more fun in your parenting.
Tip#1- Establish an Intent for your parenting. You can do this when they’re first born or you can do it when they’re older if the timing seems right. Intention is the “rocket fuel” to our desires. Intent is a powerful energy that moves us forward. What could be more powerful than intending the kind of relationship we want to have with our kids? Holding this intent is what will help create it. As a young parent, I watched the relationship my friends with kids had with their children that were quite a bit older than my own. As I admired these relationships, I knew I didn’t have to parent in the same manner as they did, but I would need to hold the vision for the kind of relationship I wanted with my kids. How I felt each day with my parenting style would tell me if I was moving closer to, or away from my vision/intent.
Tip#2- Learn to tap in to yourself. Each of us has an internal guidance that holds our best and highest answers to every situation we will experience. This inner guidance will never fail us and speaks to us in the manner of feelings and emotions. Our best parenting will always come by tapping in to how we feel about how we are guiding our kids. Does it feel good when we try and control situations with our children, or does it feel better to learn to trust the process? Can we be reactive with our children and feel good about it? Do we need to take a break and leave the room to gather our thoughts and feel better instead of engaging with our kids when we’re upset? Becoming a master at knowing yourself and what feels best will help you have a more easeful outcome to every situation that comes up, and will help teach your kids how to tap into their inner guidance.
Tip#3- Be deliberate. Don’t leave your good feeling parenting moments to chance. Stay present and deliberately engage with your children even when you’re busy. Many times as I was rushing around trying to accomplish tasks, I had to take a deep breath and deliberately slow down and engage with my child by turning toward them and having eye contact. It made such a positive difference. Become deliberate in how you are choosing to speak to your child. Be deliberate in what you are thinking about them when you are with them and when you’re not in their presence. Our thoughts are energy too and have an effect on how our kids feel. Be deliberate in “being the example” in whatever aspect you want your child to embody. For example: If you want your child to keep their room tidy, are you keeping a tidy house?
Tip#4- Chill out more. Your alignment is essential. We cannot be effective parents when we don’t feel good/happy. Do what is necessary for you to feel good and have balance in your day and your life in general. Also, examine your own life experience and practice knowing all is well. Haven’t you found that situations seem to sort themselves out? Situations with our kids are no exception, even when they feel challenging in the moment. Taking a deep breath, having faith in yourself and your child will move you toward a better end result, much faster.
Tip#5- Acknowledge this is a lifelong practice. Every tool and process we use in our parenting becomes integrated with practice. Every day will give us a new opportunity to practice our tools- the intent we hold, following our internal guidance, being deliberate in how we parent, and ways to chill out more. Your best parenting takes practice and it is a practice. As our kids display the same behavior day after day that perhaps we wish wasn’t there, we can take this golden opportunity to practice what we have intended in a deliberate way using our own inner guidance. Take the path of least resistance by choosing the best feeling response.