Practice These 7 Superchargers To Take Your Parenting To The Next Level
These seven strategies are the keys to unlocking success in everything from sleep training to potty training to behavior issues and socialization.
Do you ever wonder why some kids are happy, calm, and a joy to have around, while others…aren’t? The difference isn’t in the amount of love they get, but in the way they get it.
The key is in how they’re parented.
I spend 50 hours a week with toddlers, more waking hours than their parents. I am a co-parent, more than a babysitter, and I take my role very seriously.
Over the years, I’ve learned to get the best from every child. I’ve honed my skills and tested every method. I keep what works and discard the rest.
I teach manners, empathy, patience, and resilience. I teach critical thinking and social awareness, and if you think those things can’t be taught, think again.
Behaviour is just a series of habits practiced over time. The internet is filled with articles on why they are essential. We accept that good habits make us stronger and better, but somehow we still end up parenting by the seat of our pants.
Creating good habits in parenting is crucial if you want to get the best from your little one and save yourself a bunch of grief. So I’m going to let you in on some of the strategies I’ve tested over the years that work all of the time.
These 7strategies are the keys to unlocking success in everything from sleep training to potty training to behavior issues and socialization. You can use them every day to enhance what you’re already doing right and give insights into what you might be missing.
If you are looking to supercharge your effectiveness, and teach lessons that stick, try employing my seven strategies for effective parenting.
Parenting is a skill like anything else and can be learned. Those people who seem to be naturally good at it are just employing better techniques. If you want some approaches that work, here they are.
Here are seven things that you can do to up your parenting game.
1. Discipline, whether you feel like it or not.
You’re exhausted at the end of the day. I get it.
We all have times we’d like to tune our child out, pretend we’re not seeing what we’re seeing. It certainly feels more convenient in the moment to ignore bad behavior. To give them what they want to shut them up; to get them off your back.
Supercharge your parenting by resisting the urge to let things slide.
Consistency is the mother of all teachers. When you give in even sometimes, you muddy the lessons, you’re trying to teach and show your children that if they push the boundaries, they can get what they want.
Remember that behavior that receives unpleasant consequences will die off faster if you are consistent about it.
2. Communicate lessons in ways that make sense.
Always make sure consequences match the behavior and be sure to discipline in the moment.
If your child can’t put the two together, they won’t learn the lesson. Make sure you catch them in the act and discipline straight away. This way, they can make the connection between the action and the consequence.
You can’t go back to a toddler 2 hours later and discuss something if you haven’t disciplined for it in the moment. They won’t connect that it was something they shouldn’t have done, you have to create the frame of reference first, so you have something to go back to.
Disciplining in the moment does this.
3. Appreciate different perspectives.
Parenting is hard, and feeling like you’re always being judged can make you defensive. But, if you are not open to new ideas and feedback, you may be missing out on valuable information.
Sometimes other people see what we can not, especially in our own lives and especially in parenting.
We parent from such a personal and often triggered place that sometimes it is hard to see the forest from the trees. This doesn’t mean agreeing with everything everyone tells you. It just means being open to considering that maybe you don’t know everything and the possibility that you might need some help.
The ability to look at a situation from all angles gives you some fresh perspective when unpacking and understanding behavior.
4. Always be learning.
Watch what the people whose kids you like are doing. Try to learn from everything you see. When you see something you don’t like, try to figure out what they are doing to cause that.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions when you see someone who looks like they’ve sorted something that has you stumped.
I remember learning something from a woman I watched at a park when my daughter was one. It became the backbone of how I run my daycare and the crux of my book. It was an amazingly simple way she dealt with her kids that changed how I parented and how I live.
If I hadn’t been on the lookout for ways to improve, I might never have noticed her.
5. Become an observer.
Genuinely understanding your child comes from everyday observations. Learn to interpret the feedback from your child’s behavior and use it as a guide to help with your parenting.
Toddlers have no filter, so they will always react directly to how you are managing them.
If you are leading them well, they will be happy and calm. If you are not managing them well, they will act out. The rule of thumb with toddlers is always if the behavior is improving; you’re doing something right if it’s worsening, you are doing something wrong. It is just that simple.
Try to observe with detachment, though, because observation can turn into attention if you’re not careful. Children are manipulative, and if you are buying into something, it will escalate. This is where observing comes in handy if you watch them, you can start to tell when they are playing you.
I had a little daycare guy who spent almost two weeks limping around. It got attention from his parents and also from me.
Eventually, the parents took him to the doctor, who found nothing wrong with him. We’d all catch him walking fine when he thought nobody was watching, but he was such a good actor that he made us all question ourselves.
When we finally realized it was all an act and started starving the behavior by ignoring it, magically, his leg healed. Don’t feel bad, we all get fooled, but if you become a keen observer, it will happen less.
6. Have routines.
Why is this important?
Routines make us feel safe. Routines are especially important for children, particularly toddlers. They learn to order their minds by having an ordered environment. They feel secure when they have a predictable life.
Toddlers need calm and consistency to be able to understand how the world around them works and how they fit into it.
Chaos breeds fear and anger and stunts development. Having routines built into their lives to keep their children calm and on track.
7. Always keep the big picture in mind.
Try to remember that everything you do now is preparing your child to go out in the world.
Some days are full of sunshine and lollypops, and other days you can feel like you are trapped in your own special hell. Sometimes you feel like you’ve got it all figured out and others not so much. The ability to look at the big picture allows you to ride the highs and lows. Understand that struggle is just a part of the roller coaster ride from the minute you see the plus sign on that little stick.
Take the ups with the downs, and don’t get too upset about the things that don’t matter. Know that if your children seem happy and well adjusted, then they are happy and well adjusted.
Know, that if there are no big red flags, everything is okay.
Nobody has more love for their child than you have for yours, but some may have better skills. Fortunately, these can be learned. Practice these seven superchargers to become more skilled and take your parenting to the next level.
If you enjoyed this article, you might like to check out my new book. Download a free preview of the first two chapters of “The Automatic Parent: Systems for surviving and thriving in the toddler years” on Amazon or get the whole book for free with Kindle Unlimited.