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Small Changes Make Big Differences

Sometimes while raising kids, it feels like you’re chasing your tail. As parents, we get so entrenched in our habits and ways, that we forget there’s more than one road that leads to Rome. If we show flexibility in our behavior, we are modeling invaluable life skills to our children. By making some small changes to the way we parent, we can make the biggest differences.

(1) Communicate with your partner
If you take anything at all away from this post, take this: Talk to your parenting partner. Communicate your expectations, discuss how you disagree with disciplinary strategies they use and get yourselves on the same page. When children can’t triangulate, the adults are in charge. When adults are in charge, kids can be free to have a childhood. Also, most children feel safe when given clear boundaries – even if they would never admit it.

(2) Modify your language 
Let’s eradicate ‘good’ and ‘bad’ from our vocabulary. Choose language that is more specific, language that establishes grey areas and language that labels the behavior, rather than the person. What does it even mean to be ‘a good girl’? By acknowledging your child’s positive choices in ‘real time’ they’ll have a more solid understanding of what’s expected in the future.

(3) Create expectations
By telling children your expectations of their behavior, you are painting a positive picture ahead of time. In other words, you’re setting them up for success – rather than preparing them for failure. Before you do something, lay out the behavior that you want to see and watch your kids rise to the challenge.

(4) Be the parent, not a friend
Children get one set of parents, and a limitless number of people who can be called friends. Remember the importance of being their parents, and define the very things that you can do that nobody else can.

(5) Have fun!
When was the last time you played with your child? When was the last time you sat on the floor and followed their lead? Be an astronaut, draw crazy pictures, allow your imagination to run wild. Playing is how children learn, so be a part of their education – and play!