Well before becoming a parent, I was fascinated with how parenting style impacts kids and the adults we become. This intrigue led me to write a graduate dissertation on the topic, and later to read many wonderful books on positive parenting strategies that integrate discipline and love.
As the saying goes, "There's no manual for parenting." Even with great resources, we're human beings who experience pushed buttons and triggered feelings. The following 10 lessons are ones I keep learning more about from my son and continue working on, but they're making me a happier, more effective parent and human, and are shaping my son's character.
- Show Self-Regulation: I've learned that as a parent, I can't throw temper tantrums when I'm feeling stressed about work or life. In Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids, Dr. Laura Markham says, "Parenting isn't about what our child does, but about how we respond. When a storm brews, a parent's response will either calm it or incite a full-scale tsunami." When we don't regulate our emotional reactions as parents, we have children that don't know how to regulate theirs. We have to model patience, and the careful choice of our words, tone, volume, and behaviors so our kids can do the same.
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