CHICOPEE, Mass. (Mass Appeal) – Parenting is really hard work. Most parents really want to do a good job. But it is a lot of responsibility and many can feel overwhelmed. Clinical Psychologist Dr. Elaine Ducharme joined us with more.
1. Make a conscious effort to enjoy your children.
Look for the positives. See things through their eyes. And remember that when you enjoy them they enjoy you and feel loved.
2. Assess the family activities level.
How much running around are you doing? Do you have much down time as a family or are you driving all over the state for sports activities and competitions. I am seeing way too many families who never eat dinner sitting at a table relaxing and having conversations. The statistics a quite clear that eating dinner as a family reduced the risk for using drugs and sexual acting out as the kids hit their teens.
3. Spend a few minutes of one on one time with your kids, especially if you have more than 1.
This is the best way to really get to know your children. Bath time, snuggling before bed, rides in the car not using cell phones or other electronics are often wonderful ways to enjoy your kids and get to know what they are thinking and feeling.
4. Set some basic rules and stick to them.
I have found that in homes where the parents are in charge, basic rules are set and enforced everyone is happier. People know what to expect and kids feel safer. There are really no good reasons that bedtime should be a nightmare lasting for hours or that kids are sleeping with the parents on a regular basis or that kids can get parents to be short order cooks making 3-4 different meals for everyone.
5. Stop hovering.
Teach your kids how to be independent and play outside safely.
6. Stop trying to raise super kids!
Your job is to raise healthy happy kids able to cope with life. They do not need to be superstars or super heroes. Take the pressure off of yourself and them.
7. Laugh at yourself and with them.
This is critical. Laughter makes us all feel better physically and emotionally. Watch funny movies together, play games like HedBandz, or Telestrations
8. Take care of yourself and maintain your connections
9. Nurture your marital/partner relationships
This makes parenting more fun, teaches kids about loving relationships and also helps kids to feel a bit less self-centered .
10. Ask for help.
if you are feeling out of control, not enjoying parenting or think the kids are running your household, talk to a psychologist or other parenting specialist.