If your resolution for the year is to become a better parent, you’re not the only one. Many parents are looking forward to seeing how a couple of small changes can better themselves and their children. Before making a resolution, it is important to examine and acknowledge the areas of the relationship that can be improved.
There’s nothing more heartbreaking than a child placed on hold. Children crave attention and your interaction with them or lack of interaction will shape the people they become. When you are with your children, be happy and present. Listen to them and respond rather than being on your phone or giving them your phone to preoccupy them. This will lead to fewer tantrums and a stronger parent to child bond.
Consider slowing down and enjoying the small moments. While every day might seem like a race against the clock, don’t rush. Putting on your child’s socks and shoes could come with a funny story that becomes a touching memory if you slow down and be present.
When it comes to your child reaching milestones, relax. They will crawl, walk and talk when the time is right — and then you’ll miss the times they allowed you to cuddle them. More than anything, breathe more and yell less. While yelling may feel like it drives home your point, it’s actually mismanaged frustration and, often times, not productive.
Studies have shown that teens with parents who yelled as a means of discipline were more likely to suffer from behavioral issues and sometimes depression. Breathe and count to 10 before responding.
Every time you’re driving and looking down at your cell phone, you put your child and yourself at risk of danger. Even if you’re not texting and driving, a phone can be a distraction. Make a habit of setting your music or the GPS before you leave for your destination. Make sure your volume on the phone GPS is loud so you don’t need to look down every two seconds. By doing this you are also showing your child what a responsible driver looks like.