Monday 29 September 2014

Tanith's tips for succcessful and stress free parenting

Last week I published a review of Tanith Carey's new book - Taming the Tiger Parent and I promised that I'd share my lists of tactics that I'm taking away with me to ensure that I stay focused on my children becoming who they are supposed to be rather than who I push or mould them into being.

  1. Labels are never helpful, all they do is pigeon hole a child and then they feel they have to live up to that label. All children have good and bad behaviour and they exhibit it at different times, it does not make them good or bad as a whole.
  2. To remember that play boosts intellectual development, When I don't fill their days and I make them go outside and break through the boredom barrier they will have had a successful days learning in terms of risk-taking, decision making and developing their inner strength.
  3. Be mindful of how I speak to my children. My body language, tone and facial expressions are just as important as the words I'm saying, more so.
  4. Start noticing how many times a day I smile at my kids. I need to do it more, just because.
  5. Help my children find their spark, this is their special skill, talent or interest that they are naturally good at and really enjoy. When I find that spark I need to encourage it.
  6. Teach my children optimism. I'm an optimist, I regularly look for the joy in life and express my gratitude, I need to help my children do this more, as in doing so I will be offering them powerful protection from depression and anxiety in later life.
  7. Listen more and actively. Stop what I'm dong and just focus on them and demonstrate they are the most important thing in that moment.
  8. Let them solve their own problems. When they have a dilemma or issue that they want to be solved, I must stop myself from being a fixer. I need to listen and reflect back to them and facilitate them coming up with their best solution and then support them whilst they give it a go.
  9. Praise the children regularly and have positive interactions in the main. A ratio of 1negative (or critical) interaction to every 4 positive ones is a good ratio to aim for, this will help the child to feel confident.
  10. Teach them to value their own opinion. When they show me something and ask what I think, I need to throw the question back and ask what they think and remind them their is value in their opinion. It is their own opinion on their work that matters most and then of course I need to encourage them too.
  11. Train the kids to be organised. JJ starts secondary school next year and already he is feeling the pressure of being self-sufficient.I need to do what I can to help him be ready for this, give him responsibility, let him make his own arrangements and get things ready for scouts, camps etc.
  12. To stay mindful that mental equilibrium not exam certificates is the true measure of my success as a parent.  Not all children will go on to have professional and well paid jobs but with the right support from their parents they can all go on to do a job they love and excel at and be well balanced and content.

There are actually loads more I could take but you have to be realistic and this is well enough to focus on for now.  I'll come back in a few months and review how I'm doing.

Have you got any other good tips for me, or are any of the above ones working for you?

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