days when you had control over your life, can be re-lived
again by knowing how to create a structured life that incorporates
extra time, a swing to your step and the ability to believe
that you can accomplish what needs to be done, in addition
to being a fun and caring parent. Below are five tips that
can start you on the path of feeling a positive glow about
Create Routines – Routines are established
by parents to manage their own behavior and also to manage
the behavior of their child. A routine actually nurtures the
positive overall growth of your child. A routine helps to
create consistency, and consistency allows you and your child
to feel secure. Create a “routine calendar.” Get
a large sheet of paper and write down what needs to be done
daily (hour by hour). A time slot for each activity, whether
it be work or play. This routine calendar is a plan for each
hour of the day. For example: 6:30 AM – wake up, shower,
dress; 7:15 AM – wake children, help them dress; 7:45
AM – start breakfast and have your child make sack lunches,
etc. (Do not forget to put down chores for each child in this
calendar). Two personality traits that develop from a routine
are positive thoughts and feelings children have about themselves.
Routine doesn’t allow for frenzy and uncertainty. Routine
says I know what is being done and when it is being done.
Most importantly, stick to the routine each and every day.
Watch your life become more manageable.
Nurturing – A part of every single day should
be devoted to nurturing your relationship with your child.
Whether the specific time for concentrated nurturing is in
the day or night doesn’t matter…what does matter
is that you spend at least one-half an hour a day doing something
with your child. Choose an activity (massages, games, toys,
exercises, dancing, joking, being silly) that nurtures you
and your child’s spirit. These daily nurturing sessions
will stimulate the growth of your child and allow you to become
child-like once again yourself. You can feel very refreshed
by having an unstructured playtime with your child. Your feelings
of being overwhelmed throughout the day should just melt.
The quality of your child’s emotional growth is largely
a part of their reflection of their relationship with you.
Seeing you smile, having a light cheerful voice creates an
exceptional fun and healthy bonding for both of you.
Create Limits – Feeling hopeful and empowered
with your child starts with you defining the “limits”
of what you think is acceptable behavior. Set limits on acts,
but not on your child’s spirit. When your four year
old decides to run ahead of you in the shopping mall, take
the time to talk with your child about your rules and limits
when out shopping. Make these limits well known to your child.
Create a substitute limit, i.e., tell your child he/she can
run ahead of you in the house only. The defining of “limits”
is necessary not only for your peace of mind, but also for
your child’s development in knowing when and what is
acceptable behavior. If you have decided that no ice cream
is permissible before dinner, stick to that limit or rule.
The truth is – if you allow your child “just-this-one-time-only”,
you are really giving permission for this scenario to take
place time and time again. Then you become angry and overwhelmed.
No need to loose control, just create a limit of each act
that pushes you to feel anxious and un-balanced. Remember
to create limits that are age appropriate. This is known as
Create Time – Sometimes less is more. Start
by doing less each day. Parents are generally creating the
overwhelming feelings they experience because of trying to
fill their day with too many activities. Children honestly
benefit from “down time.” When you are going in
too many directions at once, you are creating stress and strain.
Everyone feels it. Look at your routine calendar and see what
activities can be eliminated or reduced. Sure dance lessons,
soccer practice, piano lessons, etc. are important –
but not as important as finding nurturing activities that
are done at home and done in the name of sanity. To feel less
overwhelmed, spend some time in paring-down what activities
are welcoming and credible to your family members and what
activities are actually causing frustration and stress (like
when you hear yourself saying, “hurry up, hurry up.”)
Make the cut and you will create a more relaxing and manageable
Create Your Own Personal Time – This is a time
for you to remind yourself that you do have control of your
life and you do need to take care of yourself. There are many
examples of healthy personal time which makes your heart happy
(and making your heart happy is very, very important for your
entire well-being): time spent apart from your child (call
the babysitter), time spent in a warm bubbly bath (wait until
your child is asleep), time spent on a date with your special
other (again call the sitter), time spent doing an activity
that makes you feel good (drawing, gardening, knitting, golfing),
time spent going out with friends for dinner, time spent exercising,
time spent just getting quiet and welcoming the peace. Being
good to yourself is the most important thing you can do in
life – it benefits you, your child, your mate and your
work life. It is amazing that what you do for yourself is
a characteristic trait that your child will learn to admire,
learn from and respect.
at least some of the above-suggested tips daily, you will
truly experience a positive change in yourself and in raising
your child. Your life will be more in control, more livable,
more enjoyable and more relaxing. Keep up the good work you
are doing and don’t forget to spend some quality time
2005 by Linda Milo and Empowering Parents Now. All rights
Linda Milo, "The Parent-Child Connection Coach",
specializes in helping mothers and fathers turn their parenting
challenges into a more livable, more workable, and more enjoyable
family life. Call Linda at 310-458-2079 for a FREE 45 minute
consultation on any parenting problem you are facing. Sign
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and her Special Report on communicating with your child at