New Year, New Parenting Habits

2018 is coming to a close, so maybe 2019 could be the year to change your parenting habits.
As we enter a new year, it is natural to think of what we want to create, change, or leave behind. It’s the time to imagine and dream.

Could this be the year that you don’t abandon your new year’s resolutions and you actually start to feel good about yourself? Read on to discover why it’s so hard to change a habit and the importance of implementing small daily parenting habits

Why is so hard to change our habits?

Here are four ideas that may get in your way!

1.Not turning up to the starting line. Beginnings are challenging and take us away from our comfort zones. We like to feel safe within the boundaries that are familiar and non-threatening.

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3. Aiming to be the perfect, not the “good enough” parent. Being perfect is unachievable and tends to make us and everyone else miserable too. Let’s make 2019 the year we are content with being “good enough”.

2.Making a grand unsustainable gesture. We go in all guns a blazing, pretty quickly we abandon what we’ve started. This results in us feeling exhausted and dissatisfied. Remember small changes work.

4.No plan or system. The majority of parents implement changes with no planning or a process on how to get there. Prior to changing your habit. Give yourself some dedicated time. Sit down with your partner or have a parenting buddy or friend. Reflect on you would like to change and more importantly what the steps may look like. Write down what it may look like on a big piece of paper. Start with something simple and achievable and satisfying and review each week. Don’t worry if you miss a day of play etc, just keep going and feel good in the knowledge that small changes work.

One simply thing you can do to change your habits!

Keep it small, according to James Clear, Author of Atomic Habits ( My Christmas read) thinks we underestimate the value of small daily changes and actions. He calls it the 1% rule. If you have a goal and you do this every day. In one year, completing your habit with consistency and repetition daily, you will be 37 times “better” when you first started. He believes:

Success is the product of daily habits not once in a lifetime transformation”

My top Parenting Habits you can start now.

1.Commit to easy special one to one time

If you change one habit this year, it is the most important one! Spending just 10 minutes per day of uninterrupted, one-on-one play time has benifits for each of you. Children feel a sense of connection when they can count on special time with you. They feel that they are important to you. This decreases their need to misbehave as a mistaken way to find belonging and significance. Scheduled special time is a reminder to you about why you had children in the first place—to enjoy them. When you are busy and your children want your attention, it is easier for them to accept that you don’t have time when you say, “I can’t right now, but I am looking forward to our special time at 4:30.”

2. Praise

Labeled and effective praise can be easy to do and it feels satisfying too. Every child enjoys being told a job is well done. Praise will make it more likley they will repeat the task.
Discipline alone will not provide those magic moments of connection and will not motivate your child to change.Remember not to criticise the behaviour you want to see. For more ideas on how to Praise, you may have missed my blog which included a free download, click here>>>https://bristolchildparentsupport.co.uk/the-power-of-praise-and-encouragement/

3. Model the habits you want to see

Surprisingly, the best way to motivate children to act in a certain way is to be that way yourself. Respect who you are and what you do for them and watch them follow you. Get everyone helping around the house. Resolve that and 2019 will be the year you take on the load for everything. Each of your children should be required to shoulder some age-appropriate, meaningful responsibilities that contribute to the family’s daily life. Start by holding a family meeting to make a list of all the jobs that must be done weekly and decide how you share your living space.

Not only will you get some much-needed help, but you’ll also teach a valuable lesson: the family is a “team” !

These are just a few ideas. Remember to make them enjoyable and easy.
I hope to see you in 2019 at one of my workshops. or contact me for a consultation. Wishing you everything you hope for and more in 2019, you are an awesome parent! With Love and gratitude Catherine


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