Today, parents often report feeling overwhelmed, stressed, and worried. We all want our children to grow into well-adjusted, fulfilled, independent, happy adults. But with the ever-accelerating rate of change, it's hard to know what to focus on and when. It's also clear that the parenting practices we grew up with may be irrelevant to our modern parenting challenges. or new research has cast doubt on their usefulness. So what's a parent to do?
Use the Well & Ready Way© and relax.
Generally, there are three things that affect your parenting and child: Your own upbringing and experiences, knowing what's important now to long-term success; and your ability to respond to and interact with your kids every day, with intention.
Start With YOU
"You can't give what you don't have"- this is true with your kids. Developing self-knowledge will enable you to care for your own needs, which in turn, enables you to be available to your family.
You can 'start with you' in the small moments every day - check in with yourself to become aware of your own emotional state and be mindful to manage your own emotions so you can be present with your kids.
You can also 'start with you' to be more deliberate in your overall parenting. Just knowing a few things about yourself can give you a big leg up in parenting effectively. Knowing your default Parenting Style, your default Attachment Style, your values, and your triggers will allow you to be more deliberate when you interact with your kids.
FOCUS on the Stage You're In
You and your child are growing along parallel paths, and each of you has a stage. For healthy growth, a parent needs to adjust his parenting to meet his child's changing needs.
Thanks to the research and developmental science community, we know how the brain develops which drives our kids' capabilities. Children are primed to develop different skills and capabilities at different stages of development. Most of our children's behaviors can be understood best when we look at them through a developmental lens. What are they most attuned to during this stage? Understanding what's going on during your child's growth stage can help you know what to focus on now, what to tune out, and how to interact with your child so s/he can grow.
Parent on PURPOSE
Parenting on Purpose simply means being intentional when you interact with and respond to your children. It means choosing to parent in accordance with your goals and values. This has two requirements: practicing mindfulness and being informed. Sometimes, it also means learning new skills.
Mindfulness is simply being fully present, in the moment, without judgment but instead, openness and acceptance. This gives you the space to choose...choose to understand, choose to listen, choose to connect, choose a response. It gives you the ability to Parent on Purpose.
Being informed is the second requirement. In order to make choices in your parenting that align with your goals and values, you need to know a) what you want, and b) which parenting practices are most likely to get you there. This starts with understanding your child - stage by stage - and having the knowledge and skills to meet his/her needs. Behavior is driven by emotions and emotions are driven by needs. Know what your child needs most at each stage. Then, choose to Parent on Purpose.