ABCs of Parenting

Parenting is one of the most overwhelming, challenging and complicated journeys that any of us ever planned to take. Yet, it can be made joyous and simpler. Here is what I have learned about parenting: Parenting involves teaching and teaching involves learning. If we start with learning about ourselves and know what we want to teach, parenting becomes less complicated.

A. Knowing your own values and beliefs about the world.

  • We often forget how we teach by example. What we do is learned more easily than what we say.

B. Setting limits that have a good logic behind them.

  • Setting limits without anger, threats or lectures.
  • Avoid power struggles by including the young person in setting limits. Children have their own wisdom so let them use it.
  • Have a discussion about natural consequences of behaviors. Life teaches you more lasting lessons than punishments.

C. When the limits are broken or stretched, the young person has to set it right.

  • Be empathic about their problem. It “sucks” to fail or make mistakes.
  • Let them solve the problem. Real self esteem is built on our ability to solve problems and correct our mistakes.

Sources: Parenting with love and logic by Jim Fay, and Everyday Blessings: The Inner Work of Mindful Parenting by Myla Kabat-zinn & Jon Kabat-zinn

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