Being apart of parenting groups ( and parenting books) are good ways to learn new skills and ideas and get moral support along the way. One of the greatest parenting skills is to be able to listen to the inner voice and translate love from words into thoughtful effective action. It’s about having patience with yourself to teach your child proper ways to develop their “best self”.
When you’re confronted with a hysterical infant, a defiant toddler, or an angry, close your eyes and think about the love that you have for your child.Think about that lovable face that you love with tenderness to give you the “inner” wisdom to deal with the crisis at hand. From the earliest moment in your new family, your young child has four basic needs:
- A sense of belonging (connection)
- A sense of personal power and autonomy (capability)
- Social and life skills (contribution)
- Kind and firm discipline that teaches (with dignity and respect)
If you can provide your child with these needs, they will be on their way to life as a resourceful, competent, happy human being.
The first need is to create connection. When you create sense of belonging and significance for every member of your family, your home will become a place of peace, respect, and safety.
The second need is personal power and autonomy. You will find quickly that your child will learn their personal power. You may talk about how your “strong-willed” child and how you’re pulling out your hair trying to get them to listen. Our job as a parent is to help our toddler to learn to channel their power in a positive direction.
The third need is social and life skills. Teaching your child a true sense of self-worth does not come from being loved, praised, or showered with goodies. It comes from having skills that provide them a sense of capability and resilience to handle the ups and downs and disappointments of life. Helping them feel competent and capable, in the long run, will give them the confidence to contribute to lives or others within your family and their community.
The fourth need is teaching them kindness and firmness. Teaching them to channel angry or displeasure to something positive. Redirecting this to a “distraction” (give them toys or snacks) until they are old enough to help solve problems, learn life skills, and respect and cooperate with others. Punishment will not teach these vitals lessons. Effective and loving discipline will.
Through all the tears, tantrums, sleepless nights, and issues that you are facing, let everything be done while raising your little one be done with love. When everything else fails and you don’t know what to do, fall back on love. Love and your own inner wisdom will help you know what to do.