By Leslie Lindsay
In the hustle and bustle of the holiday season we just put behind us, parents might find it a bit challenging to re-center and focus on what’s important: our family.
I recently had the opportunity to read Sue Groner’s amazing book of parenting tips. The book is slim, but don’t be fooled; it’s jam-packed with practical, hands-on, and very ‘do-able.’ Be sure to check out my review here.
Today, I have this lovely guest post from Sue on 5 ways parents can hit ‘Reset’ for the New Year; please join us!
“If you’re anything like me, you’ve spent a lot of time reading how-to articles and blogs about being the best parent you can be. The amount of advice available to parents is overwhelming and confusing. Thinking that you’re not living up to a parenting gold standard causes stress and anxiety. And it certainly doesn’t make you feel great as a parent.
This year, during our New Year’s family dinner, we did something a little different. Rather than announcing specific resolutions, we went around the table and talked about how we felt about the new year.
The theme that emerged was how we were all excited for this opportunity for a “reset”. Of course, you can choose to reset on any day of the year, but when you reset at the beginning of a brand new year, the timing just feels right!
Like my clients, I have fallen into the no-win cycle of trying to make everything in my family just perfect. What I’ve learned is that Perfect never works. Not only is it truly unattainable, the quest for Perfect seems to make things worse, not better — the exact opposite of what we parents are all striving for.
This year, instead of exhausting yourself trying to make your family what you think it’s supposed to be, here are 5 simple ideas that can help make you and your family life happier and more sane.
#1: Lose the P Word. Striving for Perfection not only causes unnecessary stress for you and your children, it also fosters disappointment. When children live within a Perfection- Oriented environment, they often avoid trying new things for fear of failing. Rather than evaluating results, praise your children for hard work and effort. And rather than judging yourself against a “perfect” ideal, praise yourself for what you do, and what you’ve done. Embrace the delicious feeling of being “good enough.”
#2: Have Realistic Expectations. The best way to ditch the P Word is to reconfigure your expectations. Whether it’s about your child’s birthday party or that much-anticipated date night, if you actually expect that things will sometimes go wrong, you can relax and laugh about it when they do. Learn to enjoy the planning and the process, but let go of the expectation for a flawless outcome. Adjusting expectations helps you go with the flow.
#3: Do Something For Yourself. You know what I find makes a “good” parent? A happy, relaxed parent! Get a babysitter for an hour and watch some mindless television. Accept offers of help from friends and family. Take a bath. Take a nap. These short relaxing snippets are extremely valuable to your health and well-being, and will make you a happier parent almost immediately.
#4: Try New Things As a Family. This is a simple, practical tip that seems to have a ripple effect. Take turns talking about some activity that you’ve been wanting to try. Cooking a new recipe with some first-time ingredients? Hiking that mountain that’s an hour away? Starting the new year with something other than resolutions? Picking and participating in new activities as a family is bonding, but it can also level the playing field among family members. Maybe the little one wants everyone to take ice-skating lessons. If everyone is a newbie, there’s no telling who will “rule the ice.” New activities let you model realistic expectations and process over outcome for your kids.
#5: Say “Yes” with Joy. This is probably my favorite tip and the one that can instantly move me from stressed out to blissed out. If you know you’re ultimately going to drive your child to the mall, let her have a three-person sleepover, or allow an extra cookie after dinner — just go straight to a happy “Yes!” When you offer up an awesome gesture as if you’re doing your kids a big favor, it takes the fun out of it. It’s so easy to add joy to your delivery with “Sure!” or “I’d be happy to!” or “Let’s do that!” Your enthusiasm will make your child feel even better about your YES, but best of all, it will make you feel great.
When I start my year with a healthy parenting mentality, I have more fun, my family is happier, and we can spend more time and energy on the things that really matter — being together and supporting each other.”
For more information about the book, the connect with the author via social media, or to purchase a copy of PARENTING: 101Ways to Rock Your World (Daily Success, Nov. 1, 2017), please see:
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
As an experienced mother, Sue Groner knows how stressful and overwhelming parenting can be at times. She founded The Parenting Mentor to provide an ally for parents in their quest to raise confident and resilient children.
Sue is also the creator of the CLEARR™ method of parenting, developed through years of trial (and her fair share of errors!) with her own family. CLEARR™ adheres to the belief that parenting strategies should be grounded in six important pillars: Communication, Love, Empathy, Awareness, Rules, and Respect. This has become the cornerstone of her practice as The Parenting Mentor.
A graduate of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and a former advertising executive, Sue resides in New York City and Bedford, NY with her husband, two children (when they are not away at school) and two dogs. She is available for private, group, and virtual mentorship sessions nationwide.
You can connect with me, Leslie Lindsay, via these social media sites:
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[Cover and author image retrieved from S. Groner’s website and used with permission. Image of family dinner from, family hiking image from, family walking with tree from, napping mom retrieved fromall retrieved on 1.5.18. Special thanks to PRbytheBook.]