Here are 3 questions that any parent can ask themselves to improve their parenting. I recommend that you don’t answer them quickly. Take some time to think over them. You may even want to ask your spouse or someone close to you their opinion on the answers to these questions in relation to your parenting. Enjoy!
- Am I modelling the behaviour I would like to see?
It is very easy as parents to demand that our children do not behave with angry outbursts, but it is another thing to make sure that we, as adults, do not display outbursts of anger ourselves. This principle can apply to many other areas of life as well. Would you like your child to clean up their room? Make sure you clean your room by example. Would you like your child to learn to develop problem solving skills? Then stay away from rigid thinking and rules that limit possible solutions to problems.
- Am I afraid that if I say no, that it will create distance or conflict in the relationship with my child?
Children need healthy limits in their lives, and it’s up to us, as parents, to provide those limits for them much of the time. But a problem arises when we feel that if we say “no” to our child it will cause a rift in the relationship. It is at these times that we need to remind ourselves that we are there for the needs of the child. They are not here to meet our needs. As adults, our needs should be met elsewhere so that we can properly set boundaries with our kids.
- Do I see my child’s behaviour as an extension of myself?
Sometimes as parents we can become overly angry or stressed out because we see our children’s behaviour as a reflection of ourselves. While we are responsible for modelling behaviour and setting limits, our children are responsible for their own behaviour. The tendency to feel overly responsible for a child’s behaviour tends to be self-defeating. Instead, remind yourself and your child what you are each responsible for. This sense of healthy boundaries in parenting allows you to be both calm and firm in your parenting style, which is exactly what children need.
Therapist / Counsellor
Focus:Couple, Family and Individual Therapy; Teens and Children; Conflict Resolution; Communication; Parenting, Family Dysfunction, Intimacy/Closeness, Self-Esteem, Grief, Anger Management, Forgiveness, Trauma from Abuse and Spiritual Issues