What are your parenting-related resolutions for 2013?
Parent advice, from our panel of staff contributors:
Listen more, judge less, speak even less often. — Bill Daley
Continue to encourage and celebrate open — and independent — thinking among my children. My daughter, 22, recently challenged me on a hot-button social and political topic. I made the mistake of telling her that she’d clearly been hanging out with a certain politically partisan crowd. Her response reminded me of her ability to think for herself and of how much it hurt her that I’d assume otherwise. — Pete Reinwald
Now that the girls are all out of the house: Change the locks. — Bill Hageman
I hope parents will resolve to have more faith in their children to solve their own problems, after teaching them problem-solving skills during family meetings, and to stop fixing, rescuing and overprotecting. — Jane Nelsen, author of the “Positive Discipline” series (positivediscipline.com)
I have never met a disobedient child, only a disoriented one. I am going to try and remember this each time one of my children misbehaves in some way. It’s so easy for a parent to take it personally and get into old reactive and unhelpful family patterns. I am going to try to hit the pause button and have a little inner chat with myself that goes something like … “OK, so why has my child lost her way? What do I need to do to help her orient?” I know that every time I manage to do this it’s a game-changer. It brings me closer to my kids and deepens our connection just that little bit more. But this year I going to try and turn this into a healthy habit. I’ll let you know how it goes this time next year. — Kim John Payne, author of “Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier and More Secure Kids” (Ballantine Books)
As a mom who became a granny three times in 2012, I am walking in new territory. In the new year, it is my plan to be the best granny I can be, and that will start with zipping my own mouth with my kids, now parents! Wish me luck. — Betsy Brown Braun, author of “You’re Not the Boss of Me: Brat-proofing Your Four- to Twelve-Year-Old Child” (Harper Collins)
Be the role model, the best me as a mother, parenting expert and child psychotherapist by teaching compassion, empathy, patience, kindness, gratitude, love, mutual respect for differences, and compromise working toward understanding and resolution. Continue to hug my grown kids and tell them how much I love them. — Arden Greenspan-Goldberg, New York-based family therapist
—”It’s OK to want to be silly/
“When day-to-day life can be pilly/
“It just takes a word/
“Or a drawing, absurd/
“To lighten your day willy-nilly!” — Carla Sonheim, art instructor and author of “The Art of Silliness: A Creativity Book for Everyone” (Perigee Books)
“Less Is More” is my motto for Lucky 2013. Kids throw themselves onto my couch hour after hour complaining that they have too much to do. Too many appointments, lessons, sports practices, art classes, piano lessons, karate, on and on. Kids are exhausted and just want some time to be still. Parents are exhausted, too, not to mention the cost and financial expense. Your whole family will benefit from a less-is-more approach. — Fran Walfish, child and family psychotherapist and author of “The Self-Aware Parent: Resolving Conflict and Building a Better Bond With Your Child” (Palgrave MacMillan)
Have a solution?
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