Parenting Tool TWENTY FIVE-

Thirty years ago, parents didn’t worry much about screen time. Sure, kids watched TV but video games only entered the modern home in the 1970s and computers about a decade later. With the rise of personal technology and smaller screens, kids can lose track of time staring at a screen for hours on end.

As the amazing parent you are, you know that screen time isn’t good for your kids.

But do you know why that is?

Parenting Tool TWENTY FOUR-

I knelt down on the ground in front of my two year old and said slowly, “You do not throw sand at people. Sand hurts in your eyes. Ouch!”

Fast forward ten years. I grabbed my twelve year old by the arm and said, “Heh, you know sand hurts when it gets in your eyes. I’m disappointed that you chose to throw sand at your brother.”

Parenting Tool TWENTY THREE-

“I’ve tried everything! She doesn’t fall asleep until nearly 11 o’clock at night and I have to drag her out of bed at 6 in the morning! She’s exhausted, and so am I.”

I listened to a young mom complain about how difficult it was to put her daughter to bed every single night. And then she said something that made it obvious what the problem was.

Parenting Tool TWENTY TWO-

One of the most fascinating ways you can play with your newborn is to make faces at them. Have you ever done this? Maybe you’ve stuck your tongue out and witnessed them doing the same. Newborns have the ability to mimic our facial expressions just hours after birth!

While the goal is not to teach your young baby to stick their tongue out at people, it is an interesting experiment that proves we are born with brains that imitate what other people do. Scientists have studied this with interest since the 1970s. And their findings give me hope as a parent. I think you’ll be encouraged as well.

Parenting Tool TWENTY ONE-

Here is powerful tool that is thousands of years old. What I’m about to share with you is a parenting tool that is tried and tested. Your parents would approve and so would your grandparents. This tool is the simple act of getting your kids to spend more time outdoors.

It sounds so easy, but if you’re parenting children or teenagers today, you know the struggle is real. It’s hard to get kids outside! They’d rather be inside sitting passively, entertained by technology. And I can totally relate to wanting to keep kids safely indoors. You can’t be outside with them all the time. You have work to do and meals to make.

Parenting Tool TWENTY-

Here’s a quick test. Name as many emotions as you can in two minutes. Set a timer and start writing them down.

When you’re done, count up the number of emotions you could name. Now go over that list and identify how many emotions you feel on a regular basis. There are no right or wrong answers. This is just an exercise for you to see how limited – or not – your emotional vocabulary is.

Parenting Tool NINETEEN-

There is a myth that anger is something we inherit. Anger is not inherited. We know that the length of our fuse is not predetermined at birth. The way we express anger is not determined by our genes.

How we process anger and respond to the fiery emotion is something that we learn when are children. So we CAN blame our parents, but we can’t blame our genes. It’s not something we inherit, it’s something we learn.

Parenting Tool SEVENTEEN-

You don’t have to look too far before you find an expert on parenting. Books are written by parents and doctors alike and you can see these so-called Parenting Experts all over the internet. There are websites you can read, podcasts to listen to, YouTube videos to watch and of course, TV talk shows with their hidden cameras confirming that we are not alone in our parenting struggles.

One of the TV shows that I used to watch is Dr. Phil. I liked Dr. Phil’s common sense approach even though he could be a little brutal with his honesty. I can’t imagine having the courage to go on his show and be subjected to his masked insults, but it’s definitely interesting to watch parents volunteer to expose their toddler tantrums and teenage fiasco’s for the world’s entertainment.

Parenting Tool SIXTEEN-

Do you enjoy feeling when someone is trying to change you? What if your spouse asked you to change something and you didn’t see the point? You think, “What’s wrong with me now? Am I not good enough for you?”

But here we are, as parents, constantly trying to change our children. Make them better, kinder, more responsible, etc. etc. etc. Do we stop and consider what it must feel like to never be meeting the standards set for us by someone else?

Parenting Tool FIFTEEN-

A great parent needs to know what they stand for. They need to know their own values, their beliefs, what kind of parent they want to be, and what kind of child they want to raise.

A drifting parent goes with the flow and merely reacts to life and to their children. They do not proactively determine what they want their family to look like. They don’t set the tone.