At Alzein Pediatric Associates, we completely understand the need for support and friendship when you are a parent. Positive interaction with child caretakers of all sorts are important to getting through sleepless nights, toilet training, bullying, puberty and teen angst.
Yikes – that list scares us and that’s not even skimming the surface of parenting!
This need for sympathy and understanding has birthed a wide variety of “mommy blogs” and “daddy blogs.” Some of them are sweet and funny and can help a parent or caretaker get through difficult – sometimes painful – days and nights. But many of them seem to pit child against parent with sarcasm, spite and often downright cruelty. Reading those often can begin to slant your view on parenting.
We’d like to ask our parents to step back and interact positively, with affection and love, with understanding and sympathy not only for each other, but for their children.
See your kids as your family, not your enemy.
You had kids for a reason, so reflect on that reason every morning before you begin your day – and you’ll start off with a joyful attitude. Remember that when unpredictable things happen – spilled cereal, forgotten lunch, last minute need for a ride – they happen because your child makes mistakes, just like you do. Encourage your kids to make things right themselves, because you are a family team, not adversaries. Hand your child a cloth to wipe up the milk, explain that you’re sorry they’re hungry but getting to school is just impossible and help your child understand that requesting a ride at the last minute is disrespectful of your time. When you show your child that you expect them to problem-solve in a healthy manner, they will begin to do it more and more often.
It doesn’t always have to be peanut butter.
Catering to exactly and only what your kids want will only make you resentful – and it won’t give them an opportunity to expand their viewpoints. When it seems like the only outing you ever have is to a jumpy playground, it’s time to include everyone’s needs. Involve your kids in your hobbies too – whether it’s biking, golfing, gardening or going to museums. By sharing your enthusiasm for a diverse variety of activities, your child will become enthusiastic too, and begin to understand and appreciate experiences that will carry her into adulthood. You’ll also find a bonus here. The more you include your child in your passions, the more you’ll have to talk about together as she grows.
You don’t have to be a “Mean Mom” to have good kids.
Setting limits on your children is a very good thing. Kids of all ages need to understand the rules you put in place should be followed. But being a strict disciplinarian and declaring “Because I said so” doesn’t make kids toe the line. Explain to your kids – even the smallest toddlers – that your restrictions on their behavior are because you want to protect them – their physical health, their emotional well-being and their chances of success in life. Treat your kids as intelligent, feeling people, with goals, needs and ideas of their own. Listen with an open mind to what they are actually saying and thoughtfully consider their point of view. You may find that loosening or changing a rule is really in their best interests. And that doesn’t make you a “Cool Mom”, it makes you a great parent.
Avoid social media sites that make you cranky and unhappy about being a parent. Find parenting blogs that make you feel good about being a parent. Even better – start a parenting blog yourself! Send us the link, or post it on our Facebook page and we’ll be happy to share!
Feeling overwhelmed and crabby about parenting? Call Alzein Pediatric Associates at 708-424-7600 to discuss ways to cool down and appreciate your children!