It is said that parents usually focus on their “New Year Resolutions” during the first half of the year. Here are 6 easy ways to improve your parenting – no resolutions needed!

1. TELL CHILDREN WHAT THEY CAN DO, INSTEAD OF WHAT THEY CAN’T. Instead of “Stop running in the house!” try “Running is for outside. Inside the house we walk. “ 

2. LAUGH AS A FAMILY EVERYDAY. Laughter is good for the soul! It changes body chemistry, decreasing stress hormones so children are more cooperative and sleep better. Also, laughing helps bonding hormones – when you laugh with someone, you strengthen your relationship. 

3. SPEND “SPECIAL TIME” WITH EACH CHILD INDIVIDUALLY. Will Smith said that he takes each one of his children on a “Daddy and Me” vacation every year. Now that can be very expensive for a working parent, but there are other ways you can spend one-on-one time with your children. Show interests in their interests, teach them something new, pick a “special helper” for dinner. Children need one-on-one time just like they need daily vitamins. It helps their overall growth.

4. PAUSE WHEN NEEDED TO AVOID YELLING. How will children learn to regulate their emotions if we don’t regulate ours? Parents are ultimately role models. It’s okay to pause, breathe, and have a conversation with your children when both of you are ready.

5. ALLOW EMOTIONS, LIMIT BEHAVIOR.  Setting limits are important but when we allow emotions, children learn to manage them faster. When your child overreacts say something like “You must be so upset to use that tone of voice. Tell me about it sweetie. We can figure this out together.” Watch your child calm down before your eyes. 

6. PUT YOURSELF BACK ON THE LIST. Even parents need to put themselves first. You can only be emotionally generous if you take care of you. Start by getting enough sleep and talking to yourself like someone you love. Mental health is important to maintain and can be contagious. Your good mood will rub off on your children.

Happy New Year! We hope 2019 is your best year yet!