Being a better parent sounds like a massive undertaking, doesn’t it? In order to change things you need to take a class, or read a handful of books, or just spend a lot of time figuring it out. I say you can do this without nearly so much hassle.
One of the reasons people don’t change habits is their perception of the task. They see their goal of being a “better parent” and immediately see looming mountain in their mind. Um, no. Can’t do that. Way too hard.
So here’s a different idea. you still have to be thoughtful, but we’ll break the elephant down a bite at a time so you can really see what you need to do. Make sure you move through this exercise with some speed. Chances are good you can identify the most difficult problems without thinking too hard.
Repeat this process for the other situations you have written down. It’s very possible you could use some of the same “different choices” (as listed in #4) for the other problems. Or you might find other parallels such as who is involved, emotional reactions, etc. Wherever you can find patterns, you have the ability to influence more than one problem with a similar approach.
It might take you a little more than 5 minutes the first time through, and that’s OK. But once you have run through one situation you might find it easier to figure out where to make your impact.
Even if your problem doesn’t completely improve, just one or two small positive changes can help. Try it today and be a better parent – it only takes a few minutes.
Readers, what kinds of small adjustments have you made to improve your parenting? I often find that my tone and demeanor is important. Also just holding my tongue can be helpful! Tell your stories and ideas here.
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Last reviewed: 19 Jan 2013