Give yourself a hand! For real, stop what you’re doing right now. Put the mouse or iPad down for just a moment and give yourself a hand. Stand up tall and celebrate you, because you’re an amazing parent! I’m not only saying this because Parent’s Day is July 26th; I’m making this proclamation because it is true every single day of the year.
You might be thinking, “What does Dr. Marcie know about me?” Well, several things that you’re doing right now let me know that you’re a great parent.
1. You are reading a parenting website: This shows you’re interested in learning how to improve yourself and that is an indication that you at least know enough to be curious.
2. You are reading a column written by a behavior therapist (me!). You’re aware that all children and parents have behavior problems. It’s amazing that you’re proactive about this reality.
3. You actually took the time to celebrate yourself (and if you haven’t yet, then do it now!). You recognize that reinforcement is a good step to keep humans happy. So, you’re considering giving yourself some of the praise that you so heavily provide to your children.
There are so many ways find more information and in the parenting world, there are an overwhelming number of different techniques, tools, strategies, opinions and perspectives about what you’re doing wrong and how you can do it better. It can be a real challenge for a contemporary parent, because the cacophony of voices constantly tells you that you’re messing up.
In this moment, let’s focus on what you’re doing right! You’re taking the time to read lots of views and opinions. You’re considering what experts say and then living your life! At just the right moment, you’ll recall something you read somewhere, give it a try, and realize it was a great strategy. At other moments, you’ll follow your own parenting instinct that has guided you well time and time again. You will realize that you do know what you are doing!
Are there moments when you’re less than perfect as a parent? Of course, you’re human! Are there times when you wish you made a different choice? Of course, you’re human! Let’s remember, however, that being a parent is not about beating yourself up every time you hit a bump. The key is to recognize what you did well and repeat the same action again in the future.
Being aware of the choices you make and reflection on what you did well or not is the key to being a great parent.
After all, isn’t this what we teach our kids? To become really great at something, you need lots of practice. You’ll make mistakes and that is okay. It’s about recognizing the mistakes and learning from them, then trying your best the next time. You’re doing this! Keep it up!
Keep learning, growing, and exploring new parenting ideas, theories, and tools. Keep celebrating all the good moments you have as a parent, as that is the best way to become an even greater parent!