Leo Babauta, very successful blogger and father of six (!) recently wrote a post with some great parenting tips – I’ve provided the link at the end of this. The first half of the title to his post is almost off-putting, ‘How to let go of Hyperparenting‘, but his suggestions are good ones to try. I’ve chosen three to list here that I particularly like:
- 1) When you get angry, pick them up and hug them. This makes me think of counting to ten before saying something in a stressful, tense or frustrating situation, which really helps you to think before you speak. Forcing yourself to take a moment, to have a little patience, to breathe and to delay your response works wonders for calming you down and enabling you to react more positively. Giving your child a hug when you automatically would snap or speak sternly to them is a challenge and an exercise in self-restraint. You know you’ll feel a lot better after that hug though.
- 4) Let her play, let her explore. Definitely important to allow self-discovery and adventure, as long as you have the area child-proofed or any dangerous items well out of reach! If you live in a small flat and it’s impossible to clear all dangers away, then set up a dedicated play area and take time outside to explore too.
- 9) If the kid is “acting up”, try to figure out why, and meet that need. Whilst this might sound obvious, I think parents can get caught up in the heat of the moment and it's easy to forget that naughty behaviour is usually just a child’s form of expression to let out frustration, jealousy, desire for affection etc. Once that’s identified and dealt with, the challenging behaviour disappears.
See what you think about the rest of Leo’s suggestions and read the full post here on Zen Habits.