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3 Parenting Tips Worth Repeating


Who has time to read an entire parenting book these days?  It’s amazing how much time & energy it takes to chew through a 350 page epic on how you “should” parent.  Even the really good books are tough to get through.  It’s made me particularly appreciative of brevity, so to that end here are just 3 thoughts/comments that I frequently say in my role as a parent coach & therapist.  It’s a little like a 15 minute parent coaching session, or a super, super condensed parenting book.  ;^)

  1. It’s our job as parents to help prepare our kids for the real world.  We parents typically want to protect our kids from the evils and heartbreaks that exist out there.  That’s normal and healthy and generally encouraged.  But.  Our other very important job is to help our children acquire the skills, habits, resources, and strength to be able to handle the problems of the world on their own.  We can’t protect them forever, so we’d better equip them.  Start now. 
  2. Kids intuitively know that they are half-mom and half-dad.   When kids hear/see/perceive criticism from one parent to another, they internalize it and file it away under “things about MYSELF that
    aren’t good.”  While I say this one more to parents who are divorcing, it’s also true for married parents.  Every couple has conflict (it’s healthy, actually) but the way we handle that conflict is
    so important.
  3.  The single best way to get your kid to change is to let them see you changing.  I say this one so often that I joke I’m going to embroider it on a pillow one day.  But it speaks to the power of
    role modeling, the power of acknowledging that-even though we’re the parent-we’re still not perfect, and it also sends the message that in your family’s home-everyone is committed to growing.  Such a powerful and positive message!

One Comment on “3 Parenting Tips Worth Repeating

  1. You are so on target about the half and half thought. My parents divorced when I was 12. My father said very unpleasant things to me about my mother and I believed, with all my heart, that because I was part of her, there was no way he could love me – that certainly he must have felt the same way about me. This profoundly affected how I felt about myself. I am old enough now to have grown children out of the house, and told my father not long ago how this made me feel (I had never forgotten those words and feelings despite the passing of many years). He was, of course, surprised. No parent should EVER underestimate how damaging it is for one parent to speak in a derogatory fashion about the other one, no matter what’s going on. You are hurting your child on the inside (all outside appearances to the contrary). If you truly love your child you will keep your criticisms to yourself.