We all know the parent that seems to have it all together. So if your barely keeping it together, what gives?
Heather Johnson shares that all kids have unique challenges, and gives some parenting practices we should all use.
Busting the “Lucky Parent” Myth
You know that parent whose kids seem perfect? The ones who are easy to raise with perfect grades? It’s time to bust the “lucky parent” myth by acknowledging that every child has unique challenges.
Here are five principles every parent should follow no matter how easy or difficult a child is to raise.
DROP THE “LUCKY” MENTALITY
This mentality brings out poor parenting and blinds us to what our children really need, regardless of how easy or hard they are to raise. Realize that tough kids are more affected by good parenting. And just because we have a tough kid doesn’t make it okay to exhibit poor parenting.
SEE KIDS AS PEOPLE, NOT OBJECTS
We have to stop judging our kids as good or bad. They are neutral! Plus, we can be the best parents in the world but our children still have agency. They make their own choices; sometimes those choices benefit them, sometimes they don’t. As parents, we shouldn’t take credit for either!
GIVE SPECIFIC, GENUINE PRAISE
Get out of the habit of saying “nicely done” and “good work.” Our kids need specific complements. They want to be recognized for their improvements and hard work in genuine, real ways. Don’t add “buts” to compliments. Let your praise stand on its own without the extra criticism.
GIVE A GROWTH MINDSET
One of the worst mindsets a child can have is “I was born this way and I can’t change.” Help your child understand that they were born with a certain level of ability but they can still grow, learn, and become better through hard work and patience.
We often express love through action, not words. Take the time to verbalize your love to your children. Don’t just say “I love you” before bed and as you send children off to school. Take the time on a random Tuesday to randomly express your love in genuine terms.
GIVE REASONALBE EXPECTATIONS
There is no rulebook for a child’s behavior. Be reasonable in your expectations for your children. Expect great things, but realize that your child is not perfect.
Heather Johnson M.S. completed her undergraduate and graduate degrees at Brigham Young University, and has been an adjunct faculty member for the last 15 years. She teaches students the principles behind successful families and the importance of families spending time together.
With a desire to help beyond the classroom, Heather is a Marriage and Relationship Coach where she helps couples and families learn to love, forgive, and communicate. She loves watching individuals find confidence and joy in marriage and parenting.
Heather’s favorite place to be is next to her husband. Married for 16 years, her greatest joy comes from being a wife, and mother to their 6 children (ages 15 to 2 years). Marriage and motherhood have been her most humbling adventure.