Parenting is the most difficult job you will ever do. Each day is full of new challenges and issues. So, I decided to make a parenting resolution list because there are some things that I would like to do a little bit better this year.
1. Keep calm! Tweens and teens can be infuriating sometimes. They have a mind of their own and a mouth of their own. But, getting upset only escalates the situation and ruins my day. Calmness shows that I mean business and I won't be rattled no matter how many times they ask for body piercings, a later curfew and yet another pair of sneakers.
2. No negotiating! Yes, even I find myself negotiating with my kids. If you go to bed, I will let you...If you finish your homework, then...While it may work in the short term, negotiating just leads to more negotiating and before I know it, I have promised them the world just so they will get out of bed and get dressed. I am just not going to go down that path this year. If I say it, it must happen or else punishment.
3. Show no fear! Many parents are afraid if they ground their children or take something away that their kids will be upset, act out even more, or never give them a moment's peace. But, being strong and showing your child you are in charge is actually comforting to them. If they feel you fear them, they can become insecure and anxious.
4. Sit down to dinner as a family more often. Studies have shown that eating together as a family increases children's chances of doing well in school and staying away from drugs and alcohol. It also gives your family a chance to sit down, talk about the day, and find out what is going on in everyone's lives.
5. Power down! Smart phones make it nearly impossible to relax and focus on family. The emails, the texts- they can wait.
6. Have a plan! When you have more than one child, you go to the child that needs you most. But, often the other child gets the short end of the stick. I am going to write schedules each week so the kids know exactly what to expect. This will also ensure each child gets a fair share of my time.
7. Educate my children While my children get a traditional education in school, I think they should know old films like Casablanca, musical theater such as Les Miserables, as well as classical artists such as Monet and Van Gogh. So, each week, I am going to choose an afternoon to either watch an old movie, go to a museum, or see a show with them.
8. Let it go Not everything needs to be a big deal. If my son's room is a mess, if I don't pack the perfect lunch, if I can't do it all, I am not going to drive myself crazy over it.
9. Every day is not Christmas Children are rewarded and praised so much in our society. So, why do something if there is no pay off? Chores, homework, and going to bed are on the have-to-do list. There are no special prizes for brushing their teeth.
10. More me time This year I am going to be a better mother by giving up jobs such as short order cook, housekeeper to everyone, and chauffeur. The kids are old enough to make themselves a sandwich if they are hungry after dinner, they can do some housework, and well the chauffeuring may not be such an easy thing to cut down on but I am sure going to try!
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