by Seda Gragossian, Ph.D.
We all know parenting comes with its own unique set of challenges. The pressure can feel immense as children look to us to help guide them through relationships, letdowns and unfamiliar emotions, just to name a few. Then there’s the responsibility of keeping them safe and healthy, maintaining open communication, fostering their trust in you, and the list goes on. While parenting may not come with a manual, here are 12 awesome tips that will help set you up for success.
1. Raising healthy kids is not about removing obstacles from their path, but equipping them with the right tools to overcome obstacles on their own.
2. Failures are not all bad. In fact, learning to overcome failures can foster resilience. Teach your children how to get up after they have been knocked down.
3. Listening goes both ways. Show a genuine interest in your children and the things that are important to them.
4. Sometimes your child just wants to be heard without being criticized, lectured or judged. If you cannot be that person for them, they will find someone else.
5. Set realistic and firm expectations using a collaborative approach with clear consequences. Be sure to consistently follow through with the consequences.
6. Moms and dads, you need to be on the same page. Eliminate the opportunity for your child to play one parent against the other.
7. Be consistent! Be Consistent! Be consistent! Children often do better in a structured, predictable environment; consistency provides the foundation for this environment.
8. Express your emotions and explain why you feel that way. This is how they learn. They are full of emotions that they don’t completely understand.
9. Talk to them about difficult topics, such as drugs and dating. They really need your direction.
10. Avoid power struggles. Instead of making decisions for them, guide them through the process of decision making by helping them consider the pros and cons of various choices. If you choose to make a decision for them, explain your reasoning.
11. Be kind and respectful. Shaming your children will only damage their self-confidence.
12. If you feel overwhelmed or lost, please ask for help. Parenting is possibly one of the hardest responsibilities there is. No one expects you to have all the answers.
Are you or your child struggling? We can help! We offer assessments, consultations and therapy. Email Dr. Gragossian for more information.