What is good parenting?
What is good parenting? This is a question I ask myself over and over. I am a millennial mom, which on one hand is pretty darn awesome but on the other hand, it’s pretty darn terrifying. I am part of the first group of mothers who are parenting children in a tech-obsessed world.
My kids will never know what phone books or encyclopedias are. They won’t know about “calling on” friends by knocking on their door and playing til the street lights come on. They don’t remember a time when phone numbers were 7 digits, no area code needed and tying up the phone line talking on your CORDED phone all afternoon after school.
I think my parents had it pretty easy. Feed us, bathe us, and throw us on the bus to get to school. Oh, of course they had to deal with discipline and my smart mouth but they dealt with it in simple ways.
Me? I have a gazillion blogs and YouTubers and other internet resources telling me how to parent.
There are labels for every type of parent. Attachment parenting, granola parenting, helicopter parenting, authoritative parenting, permissive or indulgent parenting, uninvolved parenting.
Do you know how my parents labelled parenting? “Keeping the kids alive”.
As we reflect back on the future, we know each generation screwed it up in one way or another. But each generation also had some awesome parenting wins.
But, me as a millennial mom… I have the internet and social media judging my every decision. Making me feel inadequate, forcing me to compare myself to other mom’s perfectly curated Instagram feeds
- How I install my car seats – “rear facing is safest til they are 7”
- what I feed my kids – “organic vegan is the only way to go”
- how much screen time I give them “more than 7.3 minutes a day and their brains will rot” or “your kids don’t even know how to download apps? wow they will be behind at school”
- who I allow them to play with “only let them play with kids that build them up”
- will I send them to school or homeschool “she is a stay at home mom but doesn’t homeschool???” *shocked!*
- how many activities will I sign them up for “those children are not being stimulated” or “those children are way over stimulated”
- oh and my favourite “what pronoun will I give my child”
I could go on and on. (In case you can’t tell I’m being sarcastic in those bullet points) #captainobvious
Of course, every internet troll and every mother is entitled to their own opinion but in my millennial mom world, I cannot hide from all their opinions unless I never hit the chrome browser or open up Instagram ever again. (Which is why I am selective about who I follow and I have stopped caring to compare myself to other moms.)
For me, as a parent, I have 4 goals.
- Honor God in how I raise my girls – point them to Jesus
- Raise productive members of society who are kind, honest, hard-working and have a servants heart
- Have a close and open relationship where my girls know I am always there for them
- Pray for them daily
I don’t want to look back at my motherhood when my kids are grown and say I could have been better. I could have done more. I want to be intentional about my life, motherhood and raising these 3 beautiful girls.
I am a strong believer in goal setting and achieving, in particular, reverse engineering.
This is no different with my parenting.
What is my end goal for my kids and what action steps can I take daily?
So as much as I hate the judging and crazy amount of opinions, I love to learn and grow and try to be the best parent I can. So I do research, I try new things and see what works. I want to know. What is good parenting?
Please friends, I am not up on a high horse telling you I am some sort of amazing parent. Sometimes I am awful.
I lose my patience far too often then I would like to admit. I yell (oh I hate that about myself so much), I forget to pray for them some days, I let them watch too much screen time for the sake of getting stuff done sometimes, I feed them goldfish and granola bars for dinner on occasion, I let them down (that one kills me). BUT I TRY MY BEST!
I have only been a parent for 6.5 years but I have parented 11 children in that time frame, all different ages, stages and personalities.
I have had to expand my parenting knowledge because I am a foster parent, I have had to look at things from a different perspective, I have tried and failed and tried again. Again I want to know What is good parenting?
Right now I am living in this beautiful stage of parenting. My kids don’t yet know about all of these downfalls.
They look at me and see pure love. Which is why now, while my kids are still young and oblivious to their mother’s failures is when I need to be the most intentional about my parenting. This is my chance to try and get it as right as I can (Thank God for Grace.)
So as I learn and grow, and try and fail, I add some parenting tips to my toolbox.
They have helped me so maybe they can help you? I am sharing these parenting tips on a series on my youtube channel called “2 Parenting tips,” so if you want to see what I have to say then check out the quick videos at the bottom of the post.
Here is a quick break down on the parenting tips I have shared so far
- When and Then – this eliminates the choice for the child to make a poor decision in the first place. It’s not “if you clean your room we can go to the park” but “When you clean your room then we get to go to the park” It’s telling them when they do something then they get the reward. It’s not about the consequence if they don’t do something but rather the reward when the expectation is met. This small change in how you word things can make a big impact on your child’s behaviour.
- Preparing – Kids are pretty self-centered, its how we are all born. They want their needs and wants to be met immediately (especially growing up in today’s culture.) Giving your kids a quick pep talk about your expectations before you go somewhere helps them to navigate that outing. Kids thrive on routine, letting them know what to expect and when, is a really helpful way to get great behaviour out of them.
The second note on preparing is about fulfilling their basic needs before you expect good behaviour. This is on you. It is your job as the parent to make sure they are not hungry, tired, angry or lonely BEFORE you expect great behaviour out of them.
- Positive Affirmations -. I believe in the power of words, I mean God spoke the earth into existence and His power lives in us. I love to speak positive affirmations to my children first thing in the morning to set them up for a good day.
I find this works to praise already good behaviour or to change negative behaviour. For example, my daughter Lilia is naturally very kind and sweet. Every morning I say this to her so now she knows and believes this about herself which I think makes her act even more kind and sweet! “My daughter Marissa is very fearful of things like swimming or jumping off something high, for her I use positive affirmations about how brave she is and how she is like a superhero. I see her smile when I say these things and she starts to believe them about herself, thus giving her more courage!
- End of the night connections – I think the end of the night is the best time to connect with your children. Most kids like to delay bedtime, so when you take the time to lay down beside them or just sit on their bed and ask them about their day they are more likely to open up and communicate with you when there are no other distractions around. Kids don’t remember the things you bought them but they do remember how you made them feel!Check out the following videos if you want to hear more about it!
I would love for you to share with me some parenting tips that work for you! What do you think is good parenting? Also I thought I should mention my girls are 5 and 6 🙂 Happy Parenting Friends.