Often, parents are very, very hard on themselves. Every time we make a mistake, we want to beat ourselves up and criticize ourselves. It is really not helpful to do that.
In fact, it is modeling for kids to be extra self critical as well.
I want to talk about a few ways we can encourage ourselves. One of the best ways that I find that encourages me as a parent is when I try different things and it works. If I get a new tool and I use it and it helps make things better between me and my kids. That really encourages me to try harder, to do more, to keep it up and never give up. That is one of the most important things I think as a parent is that we never give up. As long as we are raising our kids and as long as they are in our home, even when they move out. We can encourage ourself that “this too will pass”. We can figure out a way to get through this situation and circumstance.
To keep ourselves encouraged, it is important to look realistically at the things we do ineffectively as well as celebrate the things that we do effectively.
I like to use the rule of thumb of three positives for every negative.
If you find yourself being critical of yourself for some reason “why did I do that like that?” Stop at the moment you realize that is what you are doing, stop and give yourself three compliments. This will help balance out the negatives versus positives to keep yourself encouraged. One thing I also like to do is really spend some time thinking about and mulling over discipline situations. How it went and what did I do right in that situation, what could I have done better, what can I do differently next time. When you do that, it gives you a plan so that the next time a situation like that comes up, you actually have some tools to use. You already thought it over and have come up with a solution to how you would handle it in the future. Those are a couple of ways to keep yourself encouraged.
The last thing is to really just honor the process of learning how each child needs to be parented. When you are figuring out what works on one kid just doesn’t work on the other child, this is very important insight.
Most of the time what works on one child does not work on the others.
It is important to look specifically at each of your children and interact with them in a way that works for each of them. Some kids need more strict discipline, some kids need more lenient discipline, more flexibility in our discipline. You just need to get to know what is best for your child. You are the best judge of your child. You are the best person to know what is best for your child. While it is great to get information from a lot of different sources, ultimately you want to trust yourself. Trusting yourself will absolutely keep you encouraged because you will see that you will make the best decision for your children.