How to Be a Better Parent

We want to be better parents, but many of those improvements take time. So
what about some ways to be a better mom or dad right now.

Studio 5 Relationship Coach Dr. Matt Townsend shares four ways you can
make a change immediately.

Sharpen Your Toolset

· When it comes to parenting, we should always remember the old adage,
“Sharp tools make light work!” The same is true in parenting, the sharper our
toolset, the the easier the role of parenting becomes.

· Some tools, if sharpened, will increase your ability to get better results
with your children. Those tools are:

o Physical health- Exercise, eat healthier and get some sleep.

o Patience- comes from feeling prepared and ahead of the game.

o Space- Have the space and time to think, explore, anticipate and
prepare for your time with your children are all important.

Embrace Your Role as Servant

The single fastest way to fall in love with someone is simply to serve them,
and the same is true with your chidren. Serving another human being is a
powerful opportunity to grow and learn and is the unique responsibility of
being a parent. I’m convinced that for many parents, what ends up creating
the most stress in our lives is the fact that we are getting too selfish to
actually serve even our children unconditionally. It is our selfishness that
frustates us most about our children, not our children. Instead of keeping
score about how many times you have been served by your children just
embrace your role as servant. Find ways every day to specifically “lose”
yourself in their service. In every interaction with every human we meet, we
should be asking, “how may I serve you?” instead of “what have you done for
me lately?” Ironically your peaceful example of service will be the best way to
teach your children how to serve you and others.

Parent from Your Peace, not Your Planner

Nothing creates more overwhelm as a parent than obsessing about every
single thing that needs to be done for your family. Trying to lead your family
from your overscheduled day planner or calendar means you’re already
losing the battle to find the peace in your life. Instead, focus on actually
leading your life by setting your daily agenda from a place of peace, not your
planner. Here’s some steps to do that:

· Every morning allow yourself to find a space to calmly think about each
and every member of your family. Think about their good qualities and the
love you have for them.

· Once you’re in that peaceful space, ask yourself one question, “What’s
the most important thing I can do today for my child, to have the greatest
impact?” Write down whatever answer comes to your mind.

· Spend your time then focusing on that one activity and remember that
that one thing came from the heart in the moment of pure peace. Work that
day to make that one thing happen and try to get anything else you need to
get done as well, but not until you’ve accomplished the most important

Listen to Understand, not to Respond

All humans need to know you really understand their problems before they’ll
willingly give you access to help them solve their problems. All roads to
lasting change go through the heart, and the fastest way to gain access to
another’s heart is to truly empathize with the person you’re trying to help.
Remember we were all given two ears that were meant to stay open and one
mouth that was meant to close. The inherent rule of parenting then is that
we should listen twice as much as we speak, which is the exact opposite of
what most parents do. Usually as parents we think our tenure here on earth
automatically gives us the power and influence over our children. We must
always remember however, that the power to influence another is not given
by our position, but instead by our understanding and our ability to show
that understanding to the other.

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