Unfortunately, kids don’t come with instruction manuals and there are no two kids alike, so that makes this parenting job a bit tricky at times. Finding parenting success may seem impossibly unreachable, but if we don’t stop pursuing it we are sure to find it or at least many more glimpses of peace.
I use the word success loosely… success, in this case, does not equal perfection. This absolutely doesn’t mean that I have it all figured out. This is REAL life with REAL children who bring many, many, many REAL challenges.
I have 3 girls and while they can be the sweetest most precious little ladies you have ever met in your life, they have a whole other side – trust me. Since it can be demanding to keep up with these little ones, I figured I would try to share a few things I have learned along this beautiful, messy, difficult journey called motherhood.
10 Tips for Parenting Success
1.) Seek First the Kingdom. I think this is my #1 tip for parenting success and in all areas of life. If you want to be a successful parent you must first be found on your knees! God is the ultimate parent, so we will learn the best parenting techniques from Him. Whenever I am… let’s say heading upstairs to solve a conflict between my girls, I seek Him all the way up the stairs so by the time I reach the conflict He is already in the midst of the problem helping me guiding me to seek His best path to solve it. Even if it isn’t easy to resolve I know I will be in His perfect peace through it.
2.) Teamwork. You and your husband are a team! If you are divided you will be conquered. Stick together on the forefront. If you don’t see eye to eye on a specific parenting style or technique talk it over with your spouse in private or the trainees will become defiant…lol! If they can sniff out trouble and division they will most definitely try to ease themselves in that crack and conquer by pinning you against one another.
3.) Be consistent. Being consistent seems like a no-brainer, or is it? This is the main thing I struggle with, cause we all know when the going gets tough, mama gives in. Well, I’m really not that bad, but even one time of this is enough to ruin 10 years worth of training…seriously! Repeat after me (yep I’m talking to myself here) “If I say no, it’s NO!” lol! My kids are slick and if I have ever allowed a “no” to change to a “yes”, the badgering never ends, cause they know that it’s entirely possible that mom could cave at any given moment. So stand your ground and be firm and never give into begging or mommy guilt.
If you are having a constant nagging problem with trying to turn this one around from a lifestyle of consistently giving in, then as soon as you say no, let them know you mean business, if they beg or whine or throw a tantrum give an immediate consequence. This should get you back on track to consistency in no time.
4.) Listen to your kids. My girls know when I have “checked out” and I am no longer listening to them, this is usually when they lash out and go for a negative way to get my attention. It is best to listen and completely tune out everything else around you for that moment of focused listening to your child. Pay close attention to your child’s interests and needs so that they feel like they are being respected, loved and supported. Learning to communicate better with your kids and on their level will be a parenting game-changer.
5.) Catch your kids being good. Does it ever seem like all you are doing all day long is repeating yourself like a broken record? Pick this up. Put that away. Don’t hit. Did you brush your teeth? Stop playing at the dinner table. Ugh! Tell me about it. I know this mantra all too well. What I’ve noticed is that sometimes it seems like my kids do nothing right at all, while this is probably an exaggeration (tiny) If you have multiple children usually there is at least one of them doing something they shouldn’t be at any given time.
So I go into constant correct mode, you know the one- no, stop, quit, enough, shhhhhh! While this is a must as a parent, it can seem like everything you are saying is negative with no real change or end in sight. So when I notice myself in freak-out-mode (really) instead of my trained mommy eye noticing what they are doing wrong I start to notice what they are doing right…This will flip the switch on them, they will be like whoa!!!! What’s wrong with mom? lol! Once you flip the switch things will, instead of spirally out of control in a negative way, begin to turn around for the good.
6.) Never argue with your child. If you find yourself arguing, stop immediately and pull away from the situation! Nothing good can come of this! If you know you are right, there is no need to argue. If we argue with our children we are giving them the right to talk back (hence the argument). Absolutely do not allow this you will lose a lot of good training ground. My oldest is my arguer and my husband tends to enjoy this type of banter with her, so I have a hard time getting this issue out of her.
7.) Have a positive attitude. No one wants to be around negative Nancy. Wake up every day and make the choice to be happy, cause happiness is really a choice. Have fun, think and speak good words all day long. Angry, stinky attitudes are contagious and will result in bad attitudes in your kids too, trust me I know this one first hand. Fill your home with love, joy and peace and soon it will be flowing out of your kiddos attitudes too. I know this is not easy, especially when dealing with the stresses of life, rebellious children, or a rigorous schedule, but if you choose to be happy through it all, I promise you, you will be.
8.) Love on your kiddos. With the fast pace of our busy parenting lives, it can be easy to forget to simply stop and love on your kids every day throughout the day. Not only do they need that closeness with us, we need it too. Not to mention if you are close with your kids your battles will be less and less. Building a good and healthy relationship with your kids gets harder the older they get, so start now.
9.) Forgive Yourself. Sometimes we fail. Harboring unforgiveness, even for yourself is a poison that will only bring on bitterness and shame. Forgive yourself and move on. We all make mistakes & will make plenty more before we are through. So let it go and try again. #therearenoperfectmoms
10.) Take time out. Let’s face it being a mom can be overwhelming and it pretty much takes up every waking moment of our lives. So it is easy to forget that you need time for just you. Get a sitter and go on a date night, take the time to read a book, take a really long bubble bath, paint your nails, do something that you wouldn’t normally do just for you. After all, if Momma’s not happy no one’s happy.
Bonus Tip for Parenting Success
Enjoy it. I’m sure you’ve heard this from your parents several times…”Enjoy it while it lasts, it goes so fast” Although my kids are still semi-little this is so true. 8 years has gone by like a flash and seems to be rapidly speeding up. Make sure you are enjoying your kids every day…really enjoying them. Make memories, laugh, play & grow together. Once this time is gone it’s gone. No regrets!
Forest Rose is a God Loving, Blessed Wife, & Relaxed, Eclectic Homeschooling Mama to 3 girls – 8, 10, & 12 in Fort Wayne, Indiana. She’s passionate about lifting moms out of the homeschooling trenches that are discouraged, overwhelmed or feeling alone or isolated. Her hope is to point them to Christ and equip them to rise up with a new found hope and joy within, that He alone can provide. Besides blogging, she also loves hanging out at her exclusive Facebook Group “Homeschooling 101 Community” that she started to help new homeschoolers thrive.