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Becoming A Better Parent Starts With YOU, So Start There

So you want to be a better parent?

A lot of the time we try to blame our kids when it’s really not their fault.

With these helpful tips, I’m sure you’ll become a better parent almost immediately.

Kids are amazing. They bless our lives in so many ways that we don’t even realize it because, well, we are just too busy.

As much as they come into our lives to show us how to appreciate the little things, there comes this thing called parenting that a lot of us can’t really grasp.

This is taking “adulting” to a different level and something that I believe we all can use a hand with.

I am not the best parent in the world, but I do want to share some of the things that have helped and continue to help me become a better parent.

Some of this stuff you might already know, but I’m sure a little refresher won’t hurt.

Now if you don’t know it, I’m sure you will learn a thing or two on how to become a better parent.

Take a Step Back


I like to call this the step back method and is something I am very much proud of.

Everything in life requires some thought and with our ever so busy lives, we tend to go about things with some tunnel vision.

I don’t care if it’s your job or your kids, there comes a point where you need to step back and REALLY look at how things are going and not how you THINK they are going.

In this case, we are going to look at our kids and what they do, or don’t do, to make us react in a way that we might not want to react in the first place.

Prioritize


Sure we all have to work, but you need to realize that your children need your undivided attention.

Don’t be one of those parents that come home, feed the kids and then get on their phones like the kids don’t exist.

I mention undivided attention for that exact reason, so if you think that you’re giving your kids attention all while you’re on your phone, do know that that does not work.

We all think we can multitask but our brain can’t focus on two different things at the same time, so do know that you are not giving your children the attention they need.

I was once in the military, in college, and held a full-time job, but my kids became a priority and I knew I had to do something because I would’ve lost out on those “precious moments”.

Thanks to the internet, I found one of the best ways to make a living and I am forever grateful for what it allows me to do things on my own time, which results in more QUALITY time with my kids.

Don’t Be too Quick to React


“No”

“Don’t do that”

“That’s not nice”

“What’s wrong with you?”

The minute our kids do something our immediate reaction is to scold, lecture, and tell them exactly what they are doing wrong.

I’m actually a firm believer that you should correct on the spot (like you would a puppy), but do know that it does not work when they are already past the baby phase.

Not to say don’t discipline your kids, but do it in a way that you aren’t always trying to show them that they are doing something wrong.

My 2nd oldest son is not the most behaved and is really the one who showed me how to NOT jump the gun.

Patience is not easy to come by and with the stress from work and everyday life, it’s not the easiest thing to keep our composure.

Apply the step back method and try to understand why your kids reacts the way they do.

Maybe they need some 1 on 1 with dad?

Maybe they need some praising rather than scolding?

There are many reasons why they might act the way they do, so try to look at things the way they do or it will be a never ending battle with you on the losing end.

Know Who and What You are Dealing With


All kids are different.

Some may be the best behaved, while others are very curious and love to test the waters.

Treat all kids the same, but do make sure that you know that each child has different needs.

One may only need to be told once and others might need to be told over and over and over again.

If you have the child that won’t listen, you need to understand what you’re dealing with and know that sometimes saying “no, don’t do that” is not going to work.

Instead of getting mad and angry, I talk to him and try to get him talking about other things, rather than trying to lay the rules out so that he understands.

Be patient, but don’t be a pushover or they’ll run all over you.

Be Stern


I can’t stress enough on how different yelling is compared to being strong and portraying your message.

In case you don’t know this, yelling does not work.

It may startle them and let them know that you are angry, but it will get old real fast and they will soon block you out simply because they are used to it.

When talking to your child, be stern and let them know you mean business.

Tell them things in a way that they know you are actually talking to them rather than having them know that they got the best of you and made you break.

Let that happen and your household will consist of a lot of yelling and screaming with no real discipline or progress.

Show them who’s boss, but try to leave out the yelling as it shows how much control you don’t have.

Transition Slowly


None of us are born parenting pros and who cares.

We never knew how to read once we got out of the womb and we sure won’t know how to be a great parent all in one day.

Step back, understand what you’re doing wrong (or right), and adjust accordingly.

Most especially, bet involved with your kid and don’t think that by yelling at him while you’re on your phone is anything close to being a good parent.

Don’t Spoil Your Kids


I’m not even going to lie, my kids are spoiled rotten.

That doesn’t mean they get anything and everything they want though.

What you want to make sure you don’t do is let them think that they run the show or they will end up becoming that spoiled brat that whines about everything.

Rather than saying “what does my baby want” or “anything for my baby”, let them understand how important hard work is by letting them work for it.

After doing the yard, I let my boys help me pick up some trash and that’s when I throw in some type of reward.

The materialistic stuff is actually not what I’m talking about because that type of stuff is exactly that.

Spoiling a kid is giving them what they want when they want and that’s what you need to understand.

Just because they want something doesn’t mean they can have it, so don’t think that giving your kids everything is spoiling them.

Giving them what they want, when they want is.

Be Fair Across the Board


In my time there was ALWAYS a favorite and I’m sure it is very much still around.

Having more than one child is already a huge responsibility so don’t make things harder than they already are by having one child feel left out.

Although you may feel that you are fair, your actions will show otherwise and kids are a lot smarter than we think.

One of my boys does as he’s told and the other one does the opposite actually.

The crazy part is that the well behaved one gets less attention than my son that doesn’t always listen.

This does not mean that I show favoritism to my well behaved son or vise versa.

Not only should you not have a favorite, but you should never compare the two either.

Don’t praise one constantly while the other one is around and just try to keep things balanced.

We were all kids and I’m sure you wouldn’t like being compared to anyone else, especially if it’s something you’re not doing right.

I wasn’t “the favorite” but that doesn’t mean I wasn’t loved and it is also not the reason why I think you shouldn’t have one.

Show Some Love


There’s no better way to spoil a child than with some love.

Every kid deserves to be loved and showing them that you love them does not need to be through saying I love you.

Spending time with them, disciplining them when needed, and everything else mentioned in this post is how you show love to your kids.

Show them that you have time for them and that your job is of course necessary to survive, but take the time to enjoy them.

You Are a Better Parent


Just by you looking for a way to become a better parent already shows that you are at the very least involved with your kid’s lives, so great job mom or dad.

Do yourself and your kids a favor and give them the quality time they deserve and not just your boss.

Be the example of what they need to do when they get older and everything will be smooth sailing.

Showing you love them is the ultimate way to becoming a better parent and if you can understand that much, you are very much on your way to becoming one.

No one is perfect so do know that you are doing a better job than most.

Give your kids a kiss, tell them you love them, and apply what was mentioned in this post and you will see how awesome you really are.

Don’t let your kids work against you, work with them and they will work with you.

Good luck and thanks for reading!

 

– John

AskDads