What is parenting all about? Loving unconditionally? Providing a safe place for our children to grow and learn? Passing along our values and being there for our children when they have trials and tribulations? I would say all of the above and much, much more! It is setting boundaries, building relationships, and guiding children to solve their own problems.
Children need age-appropriate boundaries, for example where they can go, when it is time to eat, and when they should go to their bedroom. They also need to know that the adult is capable of taking care of themselves so that they will feel safe. This can be done by not arguing with the child, delaying consequences or giving enforceable statements (thinking words).
Building relationships involves connecting with children everyday and making deposits into their emotional bank account. Then when children make mistakes or have to learn a life lesson (about friendship, school, money, etc.), allowing empathy and the consequence do the teaching. Anger and pouring salt into the wound by saying: “I told you so,” creates a disconnect and allows the child to focus on that instead of the life lesson or problem they have to solve.
You might ask, what kind of problems do children have? A child’s problem might be how to fall asleep at bedtime or what to do when they spill their milk. Older children might have problems making friends or figuring out how to give energy to their parents after they missed the bus and had to have a ride to school. Teenagers may have problems such as how to stretch their gas allowance out for the whole week and how to pay for their data plan when they exceed the maximum usage amount.
Parenting can be frustrating, overwhelming and cause anger to surface. Let me know if I can serve you in creating more fun and parenting rewards.