The last thing any parent needs is more parenting tips. Seriously, if we want to be judged about our parenting skills, we can turn to Facebook.
There is no secret formula to being good parents. And God knows, I have no room to discuss parenting tips.
Here is a quick list of things most parents would judge me for in a New York minute:
- Cuss in front of my kids
- Let them eat at McDonald’s
- They don’t have set chores
- We don’t read to them every night
- I probably discipline all wrong with empty threats
I obviously don’t have all the answers when it comes to parenting, and I’m not here to judge. I understand we are all trying our best and every situation has their difficulties.
Unfortunately, over the past 10 years I have made tons of mistakes. I’m not a parenting expert, but the one thing I learned is to be a better parent, then you need to be a better you.
5 Parenting Tips: To Be a Better Parent, Be a Better You
Parenting Tips #1 – Don’t Stay in a Career You Hate
Staying in a career or job you hate is horrible for you and your family.
Most of us have had a job we couldn’t stand. You know the one where you are unappreciated, underpaid, and overworked.
The biggest problem with a job you hate is it takes an emotional toll on you. When your career affects your emotional state, you aren’t able to give it your all in other areas of your life – like your family. This isn’t fair to you, your kids or your spouse.
When you have a job you enjoy, it changes your entire life; you have more energy, worry less, and can be present with your family.
I don’t recommend you quit your job because you hate it. You have a family to take care of, and that would be irresponsible.
However, you should start looking for a job you would enjoy. If you don’t know where or how to begin here are a few places to check out:
Parenting Tips #2 – Get Your Finances in Order
Another parenting tip to be a better parent is to get your finances in order. It is difficult to be good parents when you are always stressing about money.
Whether you are in debt, don’t have money for a $1,000 emergency, or haven’t started saving for retirement; then you need to get a handle on your finances.
I know how it is to be in debt – It is always on your mind. When you are playing with your kids, you are thinking about how to pay off the credit card bills.
When you are behind on bills, you are hoping the next call isn’t from a bill collector.
As your kids get older money plays an even more significant role. Your children may have an interest in sports or music or some other activity.
Money problems can stress you out; which will affect your relationships with your family.
The internet is filled with information about how to pay off your debt.
Unfortunately, none of those sites will help until you determine WHY you want to pay off your debt. Figure out your why!
If you are having money issues, create a plan today.
Like right now.
Stop reading this post and sit down to figure out how to improve your financial situation now.
Here are a couple of articles to get you started:
Parenting Tips #3 – Get Your Health in Check
It amazes me how many people are really unhealthy. This is not fair to your children.
Kids have a ton of energy, and if you are out shape, it is difficult to keep up with them. You need the energy to play, go on family bike rides, and keep up with their schedules.
As a parent, I take my health seriously because I want to be around for them now and well into the future. This important to me and should be important to you too.
You don’t have to go out and run a marathon tomorrow.
Instead, start small. Go on a walk. Eat a salad with your burger instead of fries. Drink more water, rather than soda. Celebrate those small wins.
Additionally, get a physical from a doctor. You never know what may be going on inside of your body.
My physical led me to get a colonoscopy (there I am below) and an ultrasound of my liver. Luckily, nothing was wrong, but I’m glad I went!
Have no idea where to start? Here are some helpful posts that should point you in the right direction.
Parenting Tips #4 – Family Relationships
Often we take those closest to us for granted, and we need to make sure everyone in the family knows how much they are appreciated.
Personally, this is very difficult for me to do.
I don’t think you need to buy a room full of flowers or rent a highway billboard plastered with a big thank you or post your relentless love on Facebook (actually never do that). The little things usually mean the most.
The one thing my kids love is what I say to them before they go to bed.
It goes something like this…You’re very smart, funny, cute, athletic, and successful…who is a winner?
They don’t let me walk out of their room without saying it!
Also, make sure your spouse knows you appreciate him/her. Write a thank you note, go out to dinner instead of cooking, or just watch a movie together.
One of the best things you can do as a family is to eat dinner together. According to this Washington Post article, families who eat together have kids who are more likely to:
- Have a bigger vocabulary
- Eat more fruits and vegetables
- Avoid high-risk teenage behaviors
- Build more grit
- It is important everyone in the family knows they are wanted and appreciated. This makes family life so much easier.
Parenting Tips #5 – Be Present
In a world where we are tied to our phones, being present can be difficult. It is easy to stop what you are doing to check every beep, ring tone, or vibration.
And I’m just as guilty as anyone. If you ask my wife, being on my phone is her biggest pet peeve.
However, one of the least stressful times I can remember in the last five years was when we went out of the country for vacation. We didn’t have access to our phones, internet, or television.
I couldn’t check email. I didn’t interrupt conversations because my phone was vibrating. I didn’t even know what my friends were eating for lunch. It was insane.
Guess what…we survived, and it was great! I loved every moment of that vacation because everyone was so present.
Try locking your phone up for a few hours on the weekend. I bet you will feel relief and will enjoy your family a little bit more.
Being a good parent is worrying about trivial stuff in life. It’s about being a better you!
When you become a better version of yourself; you’re happier, have more energy, and set a better example for your kids!
Again, out of all the parenting tips out there; being a better you is the best tip I can give you!
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