Parenting is hard—don’t let anyone tell you differently. I know, all those smiling parents on Facebook make it look effortless. But children don’t come with instruction manuals. With different personalities, interests, temperaments, environmental stressors, learning styles, and communication and interpersonal skills. How could they? The manual would be millions of pages long! Who has the time to read that? Each child is unique and requires parenting tailored to their needs.
Many parents just let parenting happen rather than consciously deciding how they want to parent, considering what works best for their family, or determining what makes sense for their child/children.
I often hear moms say: “I swore I would never turn into my mother, but when I look in the mirror—there she is!” or “My father was so strict. It was either his way or the highway. I don’t want my kids to be afraid of me. I want to be their friend.”
With Leslie’s help, you can determine what works best for your family and what makes sense for your child/children.
There are a few key ingredients all children need to become confident, well-adjusted, happy and successful adults. These include: Structure, Consistency, Respect, Independence and Security.
Structure – Rules and routines that make sense to them. Children will be more invested in the functioning of the family if they have a say in the rules. Let’s face it, we all want to feel heard and to be a part of the decision-making process. Learning how to strike a healthy a balance between being too rigid and too flexible is complicated, and important.
Consistency – Providing a predictable environment. When you make a rule, stick to it. There are exceptions, of course, and in some situations it makes sense to modify or amend a rule. The key is to thoughtfully bend or change the rule – not because it is convenient for you, not because the child is throwing a tantrum in the store and you feel embarrassed, not because it’s easier or faster – but because it is ultimately what is best for your child.
Respect – A two-way street. Show your child that you care about what they think, how they feel and what they dream of matters to you. Speak with them the way you expect to be spoken to. If you set a positive tone, they’ll follow.
Independence – Your long-term goal. One of the most important tasks of childhood is to gain a sense of autonomy – independent actions, thoughts, and feelings. Children want to be and feel successful and they need your help. At each stage, they require slightly more independence than the previous one. Too much power or too little power over their world during a particular stage will have a negative impact on their sense of themselves and the world around them.
Security– The backstop we all need. Everyone needs an internalized sense of safety which develops in a safe environment at a young age. Children need to know that you will love them unconditionally, that you’ll always be there for them—no matter what. They can always call, they can always come home, they can always tell you the truth – in short, that they can always trust you.
Leslie can help you incorporate these key ingredients into your family. Working together, you’ll learn specific tools you need to work with your child.