Just 1 new habit can change parenting hell into parenting bliss

I know what you are thinking, ‘1 new habit? Give me a break’.

I don’t blame you, in a world with ‘get your baby to sleep within 10 minutes or your money back guaranteed’ it is easy to suffer from advertisement fatigue.

But this is no advertisement.

What I am talking about is proven neuroscience driven psychology.

It sounds ridiculous, preposterous and definitely raises eye brows accompanied with feelings of non-belief.

Can 1 habit, just 1 habit turn your household of stress into a household of calm?

One of my student parents explained to me that 1 habit, transformed their yelling, shouting household into a ‘normal’ civil home.

Here is his story.

Dad had a very bad temper. He was struggling with his son. Everyday there would be a blowout. He would lose his temper, start shouting at his 5 year old. His 5 year old would shout back. It ended almost always in tears.

After 9 months of this, he was disgusted both with himself and the effect he was having on the family. Late one night out of sheer desperation he emailed me for advice.

My reply was simple, ‘read books on parenting daily for 1 month’. That’s it.

To his credit, he made the decision to follow the advice.

He would forge the new habit of reading every day for 1 month. He has always hated reading so instead he listened to audible books that he borrowed from the library.

He did something very smart and that was setting the bar low – minimum of 10 minutes listening every day in the area of parenting.

On the first day, he managed to get the audio but failed to find the time.

The second day, he woke up 10 minutes earlier and got the listening time in. The first week he told me was torture. He really would have rather had 10 minutes of extra sleep.

But he persisted.

The habit of waking up and listening daily grew from 10 minutes to 30 minutes by day 12.

By the end of the month he had completed not 1 but 2 audio books. He was also now doing 45 minutes of listening a day. He noticed that there were lot of ideas that were on offer and he would keep forgetting them so he started keeping a small note pad to write ideas down.

As he wrote the ideas down, he began experimenting with his kids. Some of the ideas paid off and it only took 1-2 minor shifts to start seeing less and less yelling. Less and less screaming. Less and less fights.

As the second month came to an end, he felt compelled to do more. So he attended an online parenting course. He liked it, module after module, he started devouring the content and implementing the strategies.

Soon, he completed one course and went on to another.

His notepad grew into a notebook and by month 5, there was no more shouting in the house.

Habits, big and small are powerful things.

The key to massive change in parenting is not massive change. It is small incremental improvements done consistently over time.

Small changes beget other small changes and as a new habit ripples through your brain, it fosters and nurtures other small habits.

Eventually, like a snowball, these habits develop momentum and take on a life of their own.

1 habit…that is all it takes.

Want to stop yelling to get your kids attention?

Develop 1 new habit.

Want your kids to listen to you…at least once during the day.

Develop 1 new habit.

Want to be a bigger influence in your childs life than the TV?

Develop 1 new habit.

What habit should you start with?

I recommend reading, subscribe to my email list and read about scientific parenting.

You’ll hate it in the beginning, for sure. But in time, you will love the effect this 1 simple habit of reading will have on your family.

HB

HB is a roller coaster father, one minute he is ecstatic about his children, the next he wonders if life will ever get any better. A long standing member of the 'I yell at my kids' club, he writes with passion and an analytical mind. Dissecting and separating the nuanced strategies that make a good parent great. He experiments with parenting techniques on his 3 year old so you don't have to.

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