Underused Parenting Tools (+ an update)

UPDATE: Remember the blog - about my eyeliner - Why Do We Do This To Ourselves?  Well, I have heard from a lot of you that you are LOVING your new stash of underwear, and fresh non fraying towels, and you know what?  SO AM I.  I bought all new towels the DAY BEFORE I posted that blog because I had to walk the talk, man!  Also, I finally purchased that eyeliner pencil sharpener (for under $5.00) and now my eyeliner is smooth and beautiful.  Keep sharing the stories and the inspiration!

Photo by 79mtk/iStock / Getty Images
Photo by 79mtk/iStock / Getty Images

Last week we looked at our go to Problem Solving techniques - did you notice how you always grab a hammer (niceness) when you might want to try a saw (firmness)?  I don't like to leave you hanging so below is the October Parenting in the Park article (published in the Glover Park Gazette)  filled with Underused Parenting Tools.  Try one now, save one for later!

Underused Parenting Tools

We’ve all heard the statistic, we only use 10% of our brain capacity.  After almost a decade of leading parenting classes, I have concluded that parents use 10% of all possible parenting tools (maybe even less).  Stern talking, taking away things, yelling, repeating ourselves, shame, blame and lecturing are our most popular techniques.  But guys, there’s a big wide world of parenting strategies out there!  Let’s explore, shall we?

Sleep:  Yours, theirs, ours.  Sleep IS a parenting tool.  Now we can’t MAKE anyone got to sleep but we can tidy up our sleep routines.  Consistent bed time (YOU too!).  Devices off one hour before bedtime and plugged in overnight in a NON Bedroom.  Only a couple sleepovers per month for the kiddos.  Keep weeknight grown-up events to jut a few a month.  Sleep improves our focus, our emotional regulation, keeps us fitter and trimmer and expands our patience.

Exercising:  Yours, theirs, ours.  Seriously, YOU working out is a way to improve your parenting game.  Even a 10 minute walk around the block will clear your head and generate optimism.  Physical activity has a way of sweeping away our blues and makes us feel less sorry for ourselves and gets endorphins flowing.  We are lucky in Glover Park to have parks and woods to enjoy and play in.  EVERYONE behaves better when they have been aired and fluffed.

Listening:  Sit down, take a deep breath, and stick with me on this.  We can NOT read our child’s (or spouse’s, or bosses’, or friend’s, or mother’s) mind.   GASP, I know!  Ask a question and then listen. We all behave from our beliefs and interpretations.  Guess what?  Our beliefs and interpretations are different from our kid’s (WHAT?!).  I speak the truth.   Really knowing what our kids think help us to effectively lead them.  We learn about them, they feel respected, together we come up with better solutions.   Then, you know what happens?  They tell us more stuff because we listen, we learn, they feel respected, we come up with better solutions together. Lather, rinse, repeat!

Together, let’s get outside to walk and play, listen to or kids (or spouse, or friend, or mother), and go to bed early.  With all that sleep, outside time and new information our relationships are bound to be lighter, more fun, and more productive.  No yelling necessary!