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Have you ever asked yourself what good parenting really means? I’m sure that every parent has a different answer but there are probably aspects of good parenting that many of us agree upon.
In my case, the answer changed over time. After my son was baby, good parenting meant keeping him safe and offering him all my love. As he grew up and toddlerhood changed our lives by bringing new challenges, the way I saw good parenting changed as well. And it kept changing as I went through different stages of motherhood.
Then one day I saw a reportage about the things that kids would want to change about their parents. A few school-aged children were asked to mention one thing that they would like to change about their parents.
Their answers had a big impact on me.
They mentioned things like “I would like my mom to not get angry when I do something wrong”, “I would like my mom to spend less time on her phone”, “I wish my mom had less work to do”, and so on. They were all things that many of us are guilty of at some point in our lives.
Hearing those answers made me realize that good parenting is not only about what we do to become better parents for our kids. It’s also about conquering the obstacles that prevent us from being better parents.
As parents, we fight a few invisible enemies that put obstacles in our way to good parenting every single day. Being aware of these enemies is the first step towards winning this battle.
This is why today I want to talk to you about 3 enemies that pretty sure affect your life as well. Once you recognize how they impact your life it will be easier to fight them and build a happier and more peaceful family.
The 3 enemies of good parenting
Of course that there are many things that can prevent us from being the good parents that we want to be. Many things make this mission more difficult for us.
But there are some “enemies” that are present in almost every home. In some families, they are more present than in others but most of us need to face them at some point or another.
We live in a world where people are constantly busy. It’s very easy to get caught up in this busy lifestyle that we see all around us. Unfortunately, this affects us and it affects our children even more.
As a work-at-home mom, I notice often how the busy periods in my life affect my relationship with my son. Not only that we have less time to spend together but being busy also makes me more impatient and less playful.
Although avoiding busyness is not always possible, there are many times when we can choose not to be busy.
The best way to fight busyness is becoming more intentional about your life. Think about the things that matter the most to you and make more room for them in your life.
The moment you’ll decide to become more intentional about your life you’ll notice that you’ll find ways to enjoy more happy and meaningful moments. It will change your life and your kids’ lives as well.
The 2 things that helped me the most to become more intentional were:
- creating a bucket list and keep track of it on a regular basis (you can check it out here)
- building a habit of spending quality time with my son every day (here is how I did this).
Have you ever checked your phone with the intention to just read your notifications and ended up spending half an hour scrolling through your Facebook feed? Or wanted to search for something on Pinterest and ended up pinning many totally unrelated pins?
This happened to me so many times! As parents, we are often worried about the time that our kids spend in front of screens. But the truth is that the time we spend in front of screens can also have a very negative impact on our children.
Smartphone addiction and social media addiction are a real phenomenon and we can be affected by them without even realizing. They make us feel more disconnected, get angry easier, miss many real-life moments that we could enjoy with our kids.
The best way to be more aware of all the time you waste on your phone is to check how much time you spend on each application every day. You’ll probably be surprised how much time social media can steal from you.
A great way to fight against distractions is to set distraction-free hours. Set at least one hour every day when all the family members disconnect from any distractions (phones, tablets, TV, laptops). Use that time to enjoy each other, connect, and have fun.
During the weekends you can plan half a day without distractions or even a whole distraction-free day. Your kids will certainly be happy to have your full attention! This exercise will also have a positive impact on your mental state so it’s worth trying this as often as you can!
3. Our own emotional baggage
Have you ever closely observed how your emotional state impacts your relationship with your kids? The same event can trigger totally different reactions from you depending on how you feel.
If you are tired, overwhelmed, or dealing with your own emotional struggles, you’ll most likely get angry at your kids more often. You’ll probably yell more and be less empathetic with your kids.
The truth is that our emotional baggage has a huge impact on the way we parent. It influences many of our decisions and reactions and it’s probably the biggest enemy to becoming the parents that we want to be.
The first step toward fighting this enemy is taking an honest look at the things that we carry in our emotional baggage. This can be a very hard job and it takes time and patience to dig deep into this.
In my case, I was often surprised by the intensity of my emotions. In my journey to becoming a calm mom, I worked on understanding my triggers and finding better ways to deal with my emotions.
Learning to be a calm mom is still an ongoing journey for me but I’m very grateful that I started this journey. It helps me build a close relationship with my son and become a better person.
If you are struggling with being calm when your children have difficult moments, here are some tips that are very helpful in dealing with parenting anger. They helped me a lot and I hope that they will help you too!
This last enemy is, unfortunately, the most dangerous and the hardest to fight against. Some parents are lucky to only have a small emotional baggage to deal with. Others carry a huge emotional burden inside them. No matter in which category you are, the good news is that it’s never too late to make a positive change.
As it happens with all these 3 enemies of good parenting, change starts with acknowledging their impact in your life.
So at the end of this post, I want to invite you to spend a few minutes thinking about what good parenting means to you. Then think about the 3 enemies that I mentioned before and how they impact your life. If you are affected by any of them find a way to make a change. Your kids will be happy you did this and parenting will become a little bit easier.
>> Want to remember this? Share these ideas to your favorite Pinterest board.
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