Making the Grade – A+ Parents

October 5th, 2011 | Posted in Edify, love+life, Parent by

-By Karen Deerwester, Ed.S.

Did you ever wonder how well you’re
 doing at this thing called parenting? Do you have adequate knowledge to make 
important decisions? Have you done enough research to support your positions?
 Will the choices you make today bring about the results you expect tomorrow?
Parenting requires a giant leap of faith but it isn’t a great mystery what
 children really need.

A+
Parents Take Time

Children need parents who are “there”, listening and available in
 kid-time. You never know when a child will really need you – to share their 
fears, ask meaning-of-life questions, or to just feel their hand in yours.
Parents need to be flexible and on-call just in case – every day. Traveling
 parents and 10-hour-work-day parents can create daily check-in routines that
 communicate “I’m here for you” too.

A+ parents must also make time to 
take care of themselves. A family doesn’t work if the children’s needs are met
 but the adults in the family are left wanting. Yes, it’s a constant balancing 
act – but a necessary one.

A+
Parents Teach

Children need guidance to grow well. Your child is forming lifelong attitudes
 about learning from you above all the other teachers in his life. A+ parents
 honor a child’s sense of wonder. The world is a fun and exciting place waiting
 to be discovered by your child.

A+ parents also teach children the
 value and responsibility of social interactions. Your child is learning how to
 get along with others. She needs to be taught social courtesies and how her
behavior affects others.

A+ parents also teach children about
 a sense of self through feelings and experiences. Home is where you expose your 
full emotional life. Children need help understanding that difficult emotions
 are part of humanity. They need to feel safe and loved through all of life’s
 ups and downs.

A+
Parents Learn

Parents are always learning from their children and with their children. A+
 parents know that as soon as you figure out one stage of development, your 
child moves into a new more complicated stage. Uncertainty and resilience are
 your friends. Successful parents are those who are growing in the process.

A+
Parents Forgive

Parenting is about the relationship with each of your children far more than it 
is about getting “it” right. Relationships, like The Velveteen 
Rabbit, aren’t always perfect and new. All successful parents need to embrace
 imperfection in themselves and in their children. Mistakes will always be a 
part of day-to-day parenting.

What’s
 your grade?

The only grade you get for days and years of parenting is the smile on your 
child’s face, that small glow in your heart that says this is worth it, and
 that content feeling in your gut that says you did the best you know. And 
there’s always extra credit given for effort!

Meet Karen here on Thursday Oct. 20, 2011 at 6pm PST for our ESCAPE program module regarding Entitlement – Raising confident and responsible kids in a “me, mine, now!” culture.

Karen Deerwester is the owner of Family Time Coaching & Consulting, writing and
 lecturing on parenting and early childhood topics since 1984. Karen is also the 
Mommy & Me director at The Ruth and Edward Taubman Early Childhood Center
at B’nai Torah Congregation in Boca Raton.

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