10 Things You Can Do When Parenting is Hard

[Parenting is hard. Here are 10 steps you can follow when you want to give up on positive parenting.]

I felt like I was failing.

It sounded so simple, but it wasn’t easy.

I read the books. And it all made sense.

I knew positive parenting was the right path for me.

This was the parent I wanted to be.

Parenting is Hard

But in reality, it was hard.

It was hard to always stay calm and non-reactive.

It was hard to always connect with empathy.

It was hard to always hold space when my kids had a meltdown.

10 Things You Can Do When You Want to Give Up on Positive Parenting

If you’ve ever felt like giving up on positive parenting, keep reading to learn how I navigated the journey of positive parenting, and how you can too!

Parenting is Hard - Mother and Childe

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Benefits of Positive Parenting

If you’re on this journey, you’ve probably read or heard about the amazing benefits of practicing positive parenting.

Here are just a few of the benefits of positive parenting:

  • Helps nurture a child’s self-esteem
  • Gives them the tools to create meaningful relationships
  • Helps to create a safe and secure environment in which they can thrive

Amazing, right?!

If you are curious to learn more about the benefits of positive parenting check out this article from Positive Psychology.

Although the benefits of positive parenting can help to motivate you on your positive parenting journey, it doesn’t mean that the path is always an easy one.

Being a parent is challenging to say the least. We want the best for our kids, but making that a reality can feel messy and complicated.

If you are feeling discouraged and are ready to give up on positive parenting altogether, here are ten things you can do:

#1 Use Your Inner Guidance

You’ve probably read all the books, listened to the podcasts, and maybe even taken a course or two.

All of that information is incredibly valuable, but it can also be quite overwhelming and sometimes conflicting.

If something you’ve read or heard about positive parenting isn’t sitting well with you, it’s okay.

Although so much of the information out there on positive parenting can inspire you and get you on the right path, not every idea, activity, or guideline will be perfect for you and your family.

So, what can you do instead?

There’s no need to force what you think positive parenting should look like on your family.

Instead, turn inward and listen to what your heart is saying.

It’s time to parent from within.

You are the person that knows yourself and your children best. Turn down the noise of the outer world and begin to turn inward.

Listen to that inner loving guidance and don’t worry about whether it perfectly follows someone else’s rules. Use your inner guidance and your family as your guide.

An added benefit to parenting from a place of inner guided wisdom is that you will also find that you feel a calm, confidence in the choices that you make for your family.

#2 Move Your Body

Movement is a beautiful way to move from your head into your body and heart.

Yoga is one of my favorite ways to bring movement and mindfulness into my days. Yoga helps you to practice moving into your heart space.

Plus, it is a fun way to bring more movement, mindfulness, and playfulness into your days with your kids.

Many yoga poses are modeled after nature, so allow yourself to have fun and go on a yoga adventure with your kids!

Taking a walk in nature is another wonderful way to find movement as well as reconnect with nature.

Moving in nature can help to ground you and help you find your way back to the present moment. When you parent from presence you can more easily be the positive parent you want to be.

#3 Allow Space for Your Feelings

Feelings are not good or bad. They are simply messages. And although these messages aren’t always easy to hear they are an opportunity to grow and move towards the parent you want to be.

When you allow space for your emotions to be seen and heard, you begin a journey of healing and self love. This journey will not only transform your relationship with your children but your relationship with yourself as well.

#4 Notice Your Triggers

Your perspectives and triggers around parenting come from your past experiences and your current beliefs about what you think parenting should look like.

When you start to become aware of these beliefs you can begin to let go of the beliefs that are no longer serving you. You can choose more empowering thoughts, instead. This will help you to parent from a place of abundance and love.

If you are looking for more support with this inner work, be sure to read Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids by Dr. Laura Markham.

#5 Let Go of Comparison

It can be easy to compare yourself to others and feel like you’re not enough or like you’re not doing enough as a parent.

If you find yourself in this mindset when scrolling through social media, it might be time to take a break from scrolling.

Taking an extended break from social media can help you to recenter yourself and remember that no one is perfect. And perfection is not the goal in parenting.

And when you choose to get back on social media be sure to scroll with mindfulness.

#6 Practice Meditation

Meditation is a beautiful way to turn down the outer noises and tune into yourself.

So often we are inundated with conflicting messages, pressure, and expectations from the outside world.

Simply taking some time to sit in stillness can help you to better listen to the messages of your heart.

The heart-centering practice of meditation can help you to tune into your needs so you can more easily parent from your inner wisdom.

#7 Create a Gratitude Practice

The challenges in our lives are often glaringly obvious. So, practicing and looking for things to be thankful for can help you more easily find the gifts in your life.

Having a consistent gratitude practice will help you to find things to appreciate and notice the things that are going right even during the more challenging parenting moments.

#8 Prioritize Your Self Care

Self care means taking time to care for your needs. When you take time to take care of yourself you are filling your cup, so that you can pour more love into your kids.

One great way to infuse your day with self care is to start your day with a simple self care ritual. Choose a few activities that help you to feel calm, so you start your day with a full cup.

Not only does practicing self care help you to be a more calm and present parent, but it’s also a beautiful practice to introduce to your children.

When you practice self care your children notice. You can even include them in some of your self care practices, to help them create their own beautiful self care habits from an early age.

You can find even more self care inspiration in this article from The Gottman Institute.

Parenting is Hard - Mom and son with laptop

#9 Connect with Other Parents

Finding connection with other parents helps you to know that you’re not alone. It reminds you that we are all just doing the best we can.

When you take time to connect with like-minded moms and dads you’ll find inspiration and support to help you on your positive parenting journey.

Join the Soul Care Mom Village for connection, support, and encouragement from like-minded moms.

#10 Give Yourself Grace

You are enough just as you are. And you are doing your best.

Your children don’t need you to be perfect. Let go of the idea of being a perfect parent and give yourself grace.

Know that each moment is a new opportunity to reconnect with yourself and your children. 

The 2-Minute Action Plan

Here are some questions you can reflect on to help you find your confidence again and create a positive parenting path that feels good to you.

  • What is one thing from the list above that I can practice and explore today?
  • What are some self care practices that nourish me?
  • What is a mantra that I can create to help me recenter myself in the more challenging moments of my day?

 

The Ongoing Action Plan

Here are some action steps that you can take to care for yourself and connect with your kids in a way that feels authentic for you, so you can be the parent you want to be.

  • Prioritize your self care daily, so you can parent from a place of calm instead of burnout.
  • Take time to connect with your children at a heart level.
  • Allow for your feelings and your child’s feelings.
  • Use your mantra anytime you feel triggered.
  • Take time to connect with other parents and create meaningful friendships.

The journey of positive parenting certainly has its ups and downs, but over time I’ve started to notice my path has smoothed out.

There aren’t quite so many boulders in my way. And when I find myself faced with a seemingly large obstacle, I do my best to approach it with curiosity and a willingness to learn and grow.  

Over the years I’ve been able to tune into what works best for me and my family. The journey of becoming a positive parent takes time and isn’t always easy, but it will help you parent your kids from a place of love. 

As parents, we are always learning and growing. So be sure to give yourself grace and keep going. And always remember, you are worth it!

This article was originally published on AFineParent.Com


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