The Key to Becoming an Effective Parent Today

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Create the home you always wanted.

I have studied, practiced, and taught parenting for more than 30 years.

When my husband and I were preparing to have our first child, I vividly recall feeling joy — and anxiety. My anxiety came from my unhappy childhood memories. Upon reflection, knowing that my parents did the best that they could, and that it wasn’t good enough, I didn’t want to repeat what I my parents did.

In the absence of reflection, history often repeats itself…Research has clearly demonstrated that our children’s attachment to us will be influenced by what happened to us when we were young if we do not come to process and understand those experiences.

– Daniel Siegel

Later, as a public health nurse, visiting 30-50 homes a month — and having started to teach parenting — I began to ask: Why is it that some parents and their children are happier and more successful than others? Why do some have better relationships than others?

Why Are So Many Parents Frustrated and Unhappy?

Why is it that so many parents, who had great dreams, and were over-joyed when their child was born, end up frustrated and mad at their kids? Why are some parents supportive, patient, respectful, effective, and optimistic —  but the majority are yelling, threatening, punishing, and finally, hitting a child because “nothing else works”?

Why is it that a few parents get enjoyable satisfaction out of parenting, and are not rushed, while — at the same time — a great majority are rushed and stressed and downright unhappy?

Why do some children grow up to be happy, competent, confident, responsible, and resilient, and others grow up to be unmotivated, unable to build healthy relationships, and stuck — blaming their parents for all their woes?

It seemed to me that so few parents were realizing their full potential to build their legacy — deep relationships with their children that endured the teen years and beyond! So few were grasping the awesome opportunity they had to truly change the world — by changing how they parented!

Learn What You Need To Learn to Be an Effective Parent

Searching for answers to my questions, I decided to do what I had done to become a successful driver, a successful, competent nurse, educator, speaker, and writer. I decided that if I were to become the parent I wanted to be — feeling happy and confident most of the time, and raising terrific kids — I had to learn what I needed to learn and then practice it until I got good at it.

Successful, effective parenting is not magic. You can learn what you need to know to be the parent you always wanted to be!

 


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A grandparenting class? Why?

You raised your kids and they turned out fine. What could you possibly learn that you don’t know already? The truth is that a lot has changed since you gave birth. The baby gear alone is incredible. My newest grand daughter has a high chair that looks more comfy than my favorite lazy boy chair – and has more positions. Her stroller is so high tech you practically need an engineer to operate it.

You will be learning all the information that the parents of your grandchildren are learning — perhaps more. You will learn the new theories about feeding, sleeping, crying, lying, and handling meltdowns. This is no time to assert that the old ways are best.You can even learn some family rules that will keep you out of trouble.

Questions will be answered, like what happened to punishing, and even spanking kids who are rude and misbehave? Are kids today spoiled? Are some kids discipline-proofed? Are they growing up too fast? Are you too permissive or too strict? What can you teach your grand children that their parents don’t? When should you speak up and when should you bite your tongue?

Getting together with other grandparents can be very reassuring. You will become more clear about your role as in laws as well as grandparents; when it is important to respect the wishes of the parents and when it is okay to bend the rules a little. You will find out that no matter how hard you try to please the parents conflict is inevitable but most conflicts can be resolved if you have some effective conflict resolution skills.

The classes will do one more important thing: they will remind you of the good news about being a grandparent  that you’re really not the one in charge here and nothing is your fault, either. As Roxana Robinson writes in Eye of my Heart

It’s like being told you no longer have to eat vegetables, only dessert — and really only the icing. —

So take a back seat, learn the new ways and enjoy the ride.

So take a deep breath,smile and sign up for a grandparenting class. You will learn a lot and you won’t regret it.


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