Parenting advice can get a little murky.
If you Google your specific parenting problem, there’s a chance that you’ll find more than one answer.
And, there’s a good chance that those answers will slightly (or completely) contradict.
Instead of zooming in and searching for the “one” right solution. Let’s look at parenting from a more general perspective.
Let’s find some common themes about kids in general.
9 Parenting Truths that Apply to All Children:
- Kids are wired for connection: Attachment begins at birth, but it doesn’t end once your child starts to walk. Kids of all ages are designed to stay in close relationship with their caregivers. If your relationship is strained or damaged, work to repair the connection first, before you focus on rules or expectations.
- Kids deserve respect: Name-calling, sarcasm, and demeaning comments have no place in a parent-child relationship. Model the behavior you want to see from your children. Take responsibility for your own thoughts and feelings, rather than expecting your child to be more mature or respectful than you.
- Kids want to rely on strong, confident adults: Navigating the in’s and out’s of childhood can be tricky, emotions can be overwhelming and scary, and loose or unclear boundaries can feel unsafe. Be the firm foundation for your child. Send the message, “Your feelings are not too big for me. I’ve got this. I’ve got you.”
- Kids ask for love and attention in a variety of ways: Rather than pushing a child away when they express a big feeling, pull them close. Look beyond the meltdown, the arguments and the yelling, to see a child who is longing for the unconditional love and support of their caregiver.
- Kids don’t need to be threatened or bribed in order to comply: No one likes to be pressured or forced to obey. In heated moments, children want someone to understand and empathize with their struggle. When they feel loved, supported, and heard, they are more likely to comply with requests.
- Kids do well if they can: A persistent, repeated challenge may be a sign that your child is lacking something that would allow them to be successful in that situation. Provide kids with the tools, skills, strategies, and environmental support to learn, become independent and make good choices.
- Kids can rise to the occasion: Raising your expectations or setting the bar high can be a huge motivation for your kids. Instead of assuming the worst, expecting a meltdown, or anticipating an argument, believe in your children. Support and encourage them as they meet or exceed expectations.
- Kids need time to rest: Just like a nap or a good night’s sleep is healing to the body, being able to “rest” in the comfort of caregivers can be healing to your child’s soul. Provide opportunities for your child to be a kid, to play and be silly, without the worries and cares and expectations of the outside world.
- Kids are not mini-adults: Your child’s mind is constantly growing and changing. Their ability to take in, process, and manage a situation well will vary greatly day to day (sometimes minute to minute). Allow them to develop at their own pace, rather than rushing them to adulthood.
If some of these statements caused you to pause or triggered something inside, take a second to step back and explore those thoughts. Examine the things you believe about children. Listen to the internal messages and beliefs you hold about your kids.
Your list might be different than mine, and that’s ok.
When you’re feeling confused or overwhelmed as you search for parenting advice, compare your list to the parenting suggestions you find online. If they don’t fit, make adjustments!
Parenting advice will always be murky, but you don’t have to get lost in the haze.
How Can I Help?
Put an end to your Google searches and start finding solutions that work for your child and your family. Online Parent Coaching is a safe place to vent and problem solve through these challenging parenting situations. Available worldwide. Click here to learn more.