As a parents, the most important New Year Resolutions for your family might be the ones you have never even considered.
Here are my Three Top Tips for a perfect New Year resolution that will help you kick start a harmonious Home in the new year.
This is the time of year for New Year resolutions, and we might start thinking ‘how can I become a better parent next year’ i.e. be more patient, shout less, hug and smile more? But often these great intentions might just leave us feeling guiltier and with lower confidence since ‘Good Parenting’ requires more than just a ‘hope’ for change. In order to really make a positive change to your parenting style and family life here are three activities to think about that will help you to make New Year
Resolutions that really work:
1. Understand WHY does your undesired behaviour/action or attitude exist in the first place? Why do you have to scream at your kids to get moving? Why do you have to say things 100 times to get it done? Why does nobody listen until you get angry? Why does nobody want to help? Why are they on the screen ALL the time? Is it because the house is unorganised, you are tired, no clear and agreed rules, you are doing everything in the house?
2. Then understand WHAT is needed to change the above undesired behaviours – what strategies do you need to do instead? What can you ‘replace’ it with? Have more clear and agreed family rules? Chore charts that are agreed together? Choose my battles and ignore some? Have agreed and informed consequences and not ‘in the moment’ punishment?
3. HOW can I change the above and stick to it? This might be the hard bit, but often a family meeting is a good place to start; sit down and talk about what you hope to achieve and change in yourself and how you need everyone in the family to help you. Then together, make a New Year plan about how you can achieve this (delegate jobs, cooking days, rules and routines etc.).
My two main pieces of advice to you are:
• Take the pressure off yourself to become ‘The Perfect Parent’: No one CAN be perfect, but we can be the best parent we can be for our family. All kids are unique and each family is different and will need different tools, strategies and methods in order to create the family that you want. So follow your Parenting Instinct that tells YOU what is right for YOUR family, stick to it and be proud!
• Be good to yourself: all our kids want is for mum and dad to be happy, since this must mean that they are good enough as they are, worth being with and happy to be around. So what can YOU do every day that makes you relaxed, happy and confident? Read a book in the bath, go for a walk alone or with a good friend or simply make time for a cup of tea and a relaxed moment!
Happy New Year
Best wishes, Mette Theilmann, Director of Predictable Parenting and founder of the Parenting Community app