In life, there is really no end to the unknowns. We cannot see into the future, we cannot predict how our kids will turn out and we cannot foresee the problems that lay in wait for us.
As children grow up, it seems that every day parents are encountering something new to figure out. Then right when they think they have mastered that challenge, they are faced with two more scenarios that leave them feeling clueless on how to proceed.
As one parent friend put it, “I’m trying to hard to be the best parent I can be while feeling like I’m shooting from the hip almost every day.”
I remember many days as a parent when my kids were growing up that I felt like I was parenting in the dark, unsure of the next steps to take. I just needed someone to turn on the light switch so I could see some clear answers.
Unfortunately, parents can never be fully prepared for what the next challenge is going to be, but there are some things you CAN have in place that will help you feel ready to face whatever comes next. These are handles you can grab to guide you when you feel you are “parenting in a dark hallway.”
Tools That Will Help You Parent Through the Unknown
Establish family core values.
These are the values that will guide your family’s decisions, conversations, and solutions. They should be weaved into every aspect of your home.
Boundaries are the tangible expression of those core values. Boundaries may fluctuate as your child grows, however the core values that support them will NOT.
Develop Healthy Communication.
Good family communication is going to be the bedrock of your home. It will see you through tough times as you learn to listen, really HEAR, question, and respond–not REACT–to your child. It takes work, but it is so, so worth the effort. You will reap the benefits for the rest of your lives.
There is a fine line between being flexible and being consistent. Again, I refer to the core values–those are the areas where parents should be consistent. That leaves room for flexibility in many other areas of life. It’s also called “choosing your battles.”
Understand Your Child’s Love Language.
Learn what fills your child’s love tank. Take the time to discover which of the five love languages speaks love the loudest to your child and find ways to express that love to them. A child with an empty love tank is most likely going to exhibit behavioral problems.
These 5 Tools Will Be a Game-Changer for Your Family.
I’ve had the joy and privilege of taking parents through my 5-session coaching program, The Parenting Toolbelt, and seen the understanding that comes over them as they learn about these tools and how to apply them in their homes. These tools can be a game-changer for your parenting too as you learn how to incorporate them into your life.
If you are ready for a change in your parenting, or if you simply want to have tools in place for parenting in the unknown, please schedule a free intro call here.
Don’t be afraid to take that first step!