Four Easy Ways to Make Parenting Easier
Thursday, November 17, 2022
Written by Sarah Hamaker
Because we all could do with less stress and more fun with our kids, the items in this list focus on simple changes you as a parent can do. If you incorporate even one of these into your life as a mom or dad, I think you’ll be pleased with the positive return on your investment.
- Focus on connections. Make it your number-one parenting goal to stay connected with your kids. While we will need to discipline them when misbehavior crops up, don’t let negative interactions be the only way we communicate with our kids. We should listen more than we talk, and we should make an effort to meet our kids where they are…not where we think they should be. We should pay attention to what their interests are, and listen when they want to talk about K-pop boy bands or the life cycle of birds.
- Stop the repeats. By this I mean, stop repeating yourself to your kids. Say it once and seal your lips. When we habitually say an instruction over and over and over again before we expect our child to obey, we’re essentially training that child that we don’t want them to listen the first time. So we fall into an exasperating pattern that escalates quickly into yelling (on our part) and probably tears (on the child’s part). Break the cycle by stopping the repeats.
- Keep it simple. Kids don’t always need the grand gestures to be happy and content, so scale back more than you scale up. Find small ways to make family memories that will, indeed, last a lifetime. Think back to your own childhood. Sure, you remember the trip to see Yellowstone National Park but you also have dozens (if not hundreds) of memories of the small things, like your dad teaching you how to sand a piece of wood or baking cookies alongside your mom. Your kids will cherish the same simple memories too.
- Family matters. When you keep in mind that your kids, spouse and you make up a family—a team—then your decisions about sports, after-school activities, events, work, church, etc., become easier. When your family matters, you’re not just deciding on whether Son should take hockey—you’re considering how hockey will impact everyone in the family. That helps to ensure one person isn’t dominating the family and that everyone’s working together to keep the work-school-home balanced.
Certified Leadership Parenting Coach