Every mom I know asks themselves the following question:
This kid is my responsibility...what if I mess this up?
When panicked patients, friends, and family call me, here’s what I say:
You aren’t supposed to know how to parent.
You aren’t born knowing how to do it.
You don’t really get taught it.
No one makes you get licensed or insured before handing over a kid to you.
So, yes, there’s a lot to learn.
You won’t always know exactly what you are doing.
The reality is, there isn’t just one way to do this correctly.
There’s no user manual, no guarantee, no bible.
Every mom has to find what works for her, her child, and her family.
When you bring your best self to this game, you get the best results for everyone.
So, take care of yourself first.
Move your body regularly.
Get some sleep.
Find time for it.
Make time for it.
Get the benefits for yourself, and see how they flow down to your kids.
Let doing right by yourself give you the confidence that you are a good parent.
Here are the 2 Keys to Overcoming Bedtime Chaos:
Kids will find every excuse not to go to bed.
Your job is to hold the line, without frustration or amusement.
Want to know how?
#1: Set a bedtime.
Children need different amounts of sleep depending on their age.
Is your child yawning early in the day?
They might not be getting enough sleep.
Also watch out if your child appears awake and hyper at the end of the day.
Don’t be fooled!
This can be a sign they are overtired and really need their sleep.
Making bedtime even fifteen to twenty minutes earlier can help.
Find a bedtime that fits your family schedule.
Work backwards from when your child needs to get up in the morning.
The relevant question isn’t what the clock says at bedtime.
What’s important is how many hours of sleep follow.
#2: Create a bedtime routine.
Routine makes kids feel safe and secure.
The predictability itself helps them relax.
Use a bedtime routine to nurture your relationship with your child.
Take time to snuggle.
Talk about whatever your child is thinking about.
Give your undivided attention and show your child you are there for them.
Incorporate whatever helps them feel calm and relaxed.
Even if bedtime is chaotic, don’t give in.
It may not always be easy to hold the bedtime line.
But it is totally worth it!
Do These Three Things Every Day to Help Your Child to Be Confident and Internally Motivated.
Every parent wants their children to feel loved.
They also want their children to be confident.
Here are three easy, everyday strategies to put those goals well within reach.
#1: Give your children choices.
Choices allow children to feel more confident and in control.
The choices don’t have to be big.
Ask your child which shirt they want to wear.
Or which after-school activity to sign up for.
These are low-stakes for parents.
But they’re great for helping your kids become self-assured.
#2: Allow them to try to solve their own problems.
Problem-solving on their own doesn’t mean kids never need or want your help.
But don’t get out in front of everything that comes their way.
Give kids the chance to resolve things on their own.
And let them know you have full confidence in their ability to handle problems.
#3: Provide positive reinforcement.
Often parents focus on the negative without even really realizing it.
It’s more powerful to “catch them being good.”
Positive reinforcement means highlighting good behavior.
Sometimes, it’s as simple as saying, “Nice work.”
This kind of acknowledgment makes kids feel excited and competent.
Overall, these three strategies will build your child’s confidence and encourage them to be more self-assured, resilient, creative, self-sufficient, and calm.
And they’ll give your kids a great head start in life.
Talking about feelings is a crucial skill.
What do you do when your child is crying?
Do you ask them to stop crying or tell them to calm down?
Here’s why both of those responses are the opposite of what they need.
Because you’re asking them to push aside their emotions.
Crying is a good thing if they are sad.
Getting angry is okay when it’s expressed productively.
Don’t brush your child’s feelings aside.
Reassure them, but do not mask or deny their feelings.
Minimizing kids’ feelings can make them feel as if their emotions are invalid.
Instead, make them feel heard.
Talk over what the emotion feels like.
Talk about what they can do if they need to manage it.
Let them hear you discuss your feelings, too.
Explain how you manage your own negative feelings.
Also, kids can tell whether they’re being treated with kindness, respect, and love.
How you talk with your children is so important.
Consider: What words are you choosing?
What’s your tone?
Are you fully present as you speak?
All of this will influence how successfully you connect with your child.
Talking about feelings is a crucial skill.
So don’t hide your own feelings or minimize theirs.
Let your kids know it is okay to share their feelings.
And not just okay, but important!
Maintaining Good Emotional Health is the Bedrock for Calm and Confident Parenting.
Ever felt like the world is moving too fast?
Like you can’t be the parent you want to be because there’s just too much chaos?
There’s one key to staying calm in the midst of it all.
When you are emotionally healthy, you are a better, calmer, more confident parent.
And an amazing role model for your kids.
You can learn to understand, manage, and work with your emotions.
Does maintaining your emotional health mean you need to be (or appear to be) happy all the time?
Of course not—no one is.
Good emotional health simply means that you are in good control of your emotions.
All of them.
The good, the bad, and the ugly.
You need to be aware of your emotions—
And your reactions to your emotions.
That way you can handle them more evenly.
Handle them in ways that won’t stress you out and make them worse.
As you improve your emotional health, you’ll be healthier and happier.
You will, overall, feel so much better about yourself.
You’ll find it easier to keep whatever comes up in perspective.
You’ll feel more in control of your behavior and feelings.
Maintaining good emotional health is the bedrock for calm and confident parenting.
Remember, you set the emotional tone for your kids, too.
When you are calm, they will be calmer too.
Why Parents Should Put Themselves First
Parents are all about their kids, putting them first.
Sometimes that means putting your needs on the back burner.
But that is not always the best idea.
The most important thing you can do as a mom or dad is to take good care of yourself.
Everything you do to increase your well-being will support you in being a better parent.
And that, in turn, improves your children’s well-being.
Here’s the truth:
Parenting is hard work.
If you’re stressed, overworked, or burned out, you will struggle.
You’ll be more impatient, more irritable, and less efficient.
You’ll miss out on the joy of it all.
And isn’t accessing that joy the whole point of all the hard work?
Self-care is not selfish.
It’s how you make your best self available to others.
Look for small things you can fit into any day.
Schedule in real time for self-care.
Even if it’s just fifteen minutes.
A drink with a friend, a quick nap, a walk outside, a short meditation…
Whatever you choose is just personal preference.
What matters is that you choose something meaningful to you.
Many parents worry they aren’t around enough for their kids.
It’s true that kids need time with their parents.
But studies show that something else has an even bigger positive effect on kids.
The amount of time you spend with your kids matters less than what you do during that time.
There’s no specific activity that makes “quality time.”
Quality time only requires you to truly be with your kids.
You must be fully present and focused on them.
No other priorities.
And—this is important—no phones.
Quality time is interactive time.
It’s time for communicating and connecting.
Do whatever it is your children love to do.
It can be as simple as reading books.
Or putting together a puzzle.
Cooking is great.
Crafts are great.
Kids remember the wonderful quality times that you create.
Making quality time together a priority sends a clear message.
It tells your kids how important they are to you.
It tells them how much you love and care for them.
It’s an opportunity for you to be fully engaged in their world.
It’s okay if you can’t spend as much time with your kids as you’d like.
Just make sure that the minutes you share matter.
Parenting is amazing, rewarding…and hard work.
Every parent wants to give their kids a healthy, happy childhood.
But with all the stress in life, how can you stay on track?
The most peaceful way to parent is also the most effective.
It’s about remaining calm and confident, present and patient.
Even when life gets chaotic.
Here’s what makes calm and confident parenting so powerful.
Kids react differently to a calm parent.
When a parent is anxious, their child will be anxious.
The parent sets the tone, for better or worse.
There’s also a big-picture angle on calm and confident parenting.
Your kids are watching you.
They learn from you and your example about…everything, really.
That includes how to handle stressful situations.
What do you want to model for them?
Calm and confident parenting is not necessarily easy.
But it is always possible.
It’s a learned skill.
And like any other, it requires practice to master.
Of course, life will still be chaotic.
It’s how you handle it that matters.
Calm and confident parenting doesn’t mean you are automatically calm.
It does mean you know how to get there when you need to.
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DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is solely for educational purposes and is solely the opinion of Dr. Alison Mitzner, which may differ from other medical professionals. The Site Does Not Provide Medical Advice. The information provided in consultations or on this website is neither intended, nor is implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician about any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or the health and welfare of your child. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this site.
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HOW TO CARE FOR YOURSELF (AND YOUR KIDS) TRHOUGH LIFE'S CHAOS
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