What do Parents want?
I think we would be hard pressed to find a parent that didn’t think they could be a little more patient at times. I’m sure there are plenty of parents who occasionally snap at their child when it probably wasn’t necessary. And I would like to meet the parent who doesn’t think they could cut back on the raised voices, stress a little less or take more time out to really enjoy their kids.
Recently I asked my readers to complete a survey highlighting their parenting experiences, what they felt they were good at, and what they found most challenging. It gave me a great insight in to what parents want.
Parents want to be more tolerant. They want to yell less. They want to stop themselves from lashing out unnecessarily. They want to be patient with their kids. They want to take the time to understand them and enjoy more good times and fun moments.
There are lots of ways we can help achieve this a little better. I say better, rather than completely as I believe aiming to completely eradicate stress and frustration when it comes to parenting is quite simply going to be nigh on impossible and an unrealistic expectation. We get tired and our patience wanes. We have other commitments that sometimes take our time and our focus. We have circumstances and situations that are out of our control. We have things that happen, that at times, makes being the calm, chilled out, fun loving parent, just not possible.
And we have kids that can be difficult. That can push buttons and test boundaries. They can be unreasonable when we think they should show reason. They can surprise us and do things we never thought they would. They can make us feel that some things just are not getting through to them. They can argue, and protest and slam doors and throw tantrums.
So when faced with this, how do we be more of the parent we want to be?
We can do things like, positive self talk to ourselves. We can ask ourselves “whats the worst that can happen?” in any given situation in order to gain perspective. We can employ strategies that help us stop yelling. We can take deep breaths and give ourselves a break. We can try and predict our childs behaviour and be better prepared for tantrums and arguments.We can be better organised so we are not running out the door in a lather of sweat.
What I think is most important however and the strategy I use in my work with families (and indeed my own kids), is to look at things from our children’s perspective.
For me, it just makes so much more sense if I can attempt to see the world though my child’s eyes. My toddler’s, my preschooler’s, my tween’s and my teen’s eyes. I won’t always get it right. I wont always understand it. But it helps me to make decisions, have conversations, enforce boundaries and stay calmer, if I have made an attempt to see what they are seeing.
This belief also extends to the work I do with families trying to incorporate technology and the online world into their lives. We need to understand this is the only world our children have known. A world immersed in technology is one world for our kids. For many parents, it is still very much two separate worlds. Understanding this, goes a long way in helping to teach, support and to guide.
So this year, I will continue to help families make greater connections with each other, enjoy their family lives more and be proud of their parenting by offering this insight into perspective. Looking at why children behave a certain way and what their challenges and motivations are, allowing us as parents to try and find the patience and tolerance, make better connections and ultimately lead us to many more moments of joy.
Thank you to all those who filled out my parent survey. If you haven’t had a chance I’d still love you to answer 10 quick questions here to help me with my commitment to helping you be the best parent you can be and confidently face the challenges of the modern world.