Modified: September 2019, First Published in August
Parenting is not easy and no one can prepare you for the journey (and the messiness). 🙂 As adults, we are awesome at so many things but when it comes to parenting, we often feel surprisingly unsure whether we know what we’re doing at all.
We love these kids of ours with a love so fierce and strong, and yet, half the time we shake our heads and wonder if we’re getting it all wrong and why this parenting gig is so darn hard??? In fact, I don’t know about you, but it’s not uncommon for me to feel totally conflicted, emotional, stressed, happy, excited, vulnerable, worried, panicked at any given moment and with 6 teenagers, I look forward to a quiet empty nest, while wishing I could just freeze time and keep my children exactly as they are in this moment.
I also sit there and desperately long for some peace and quiet while loving the chaos and life surrounding me and wishing everyone would stop saying, “Mom! Mom! Mom!” even as I’m craving conversation with these fascinating little people of mine.
No matter what your day has been like, whether you locked yourself in the bathroom to cry after you blew up at your kids or if “Mama needs some alone time” evolved into hiding in the pantry and inhaling a bag of dark chocolate chips, or your budding artist decided today was the day to create a mural on the living room wall with your colored Sharpies, There’s one thing you already know:
Sometimes parenting is awesome. And sometimes it’s not.
Guess what, we found out how to become a better parent by living through it every single day, from other families, from friends, from mentors, from the church, from the professionals, and from YOU. We have learned so much here at Ziglar Family, therefore, we think it’s time to share what has helped us through this exciting and forever journey.
Here are over 30 parenting tips and tricks:
- You are not alone (in fact there are over 140 million and some parents in the US alone)
- No child is the same (they all have their own personalities, which still boggles our mind, I mean, they all came from the same place, haha)
- You are truly doing your best (and don’t let anyone tell you different)
- Routines and Guidance for the kids (and You) make this parenting biz a much easier process and creates less stress
- They will grow fast and they will change every.single.year (don’t get too comfy or discouraged)
- You are their #1 advocate and must trust your gut when it comes to any situation and or decision
- You’re Mom was so right! ?
- Communication is Key!
- Don’t let technology sabotage your family time
- Be an amazing and skilled listener (they really do love it when you just LISTEN to them)
- Help them to do things on their own to learn responsibility and independence (most will choose to be lazy around their parents)
- Make awesome chore charts and stick to them!
- Get a planner and keep it up-to-date daily (or look into bullet journaling)
- Create a digital family calendar and add events and family todos as soon as they pop up (this will save your sanity with the hubs)
- Have a meal together every single day (and for a bonus, talk about the day’s highs and lows) with NO electronics at the table
- Have consequences for bad behavior but be sure to praise the good stuff too (love this chart)
- Teach them early on about money and earning it
- Play with them and stay active with the family
- Let them dance in the rain (as long as it’s not lightning)
- Don’t fight with your spouse in front of them
- Teach them good eating habits (tell them that veggies and fruit are “sports candy”)
- Pray together and attend church as often as possible
- Create family meetings (but remember to make it fun and let them, maybe, guide the way)
- Volunteer for a good cause as a family
- Teach them to accept everyone and not to judge
- Travel with them every year (they learn so much from new environments)
- Talk to them without criticism and show them that you really care about what is happening in their life (stay engaged)
- Understand each family member’s Love Language (this will save you in so many ways)
- Write them little notes with inspiration (put them in their lunch or in their bag or under their pillow)
- Listen to your fellow peers and family members (as they could help in ways you could never have thought)
- Listen to this audio recording of Zig Ziglar’s famous program: Raising Positive Kids in a Negative World.
- Create a central hub in your home that includes a chalkboard, family calendar, family mission statement, chore charts, homework stations, and an inspirational quote.
- Become a kinder, more intentional parent
- Eliminate the “gimmes” and teach them to serve others
- Stay calm and parent on
If you want to put more joy back into your parenting, remember that you are not alone. Try to make one positive change each day or week that will help your parenting skills feel less forced and more natural. Kids will respond to love, encouragement, and positivity.