Having four children, one could say I am quiet experienced in the parenting department. I have seen many dirty diapers, preschool graduations, and several high school dramas! Though there are many ups and downs, being a parent is the most rewarding role you will ever have.

Every family will experience their own different ways of parenting.  One thing all parents strive for is to be the best parent they can be.  We want to make sure our children have everything they need (and want, well sometimes lol). We want them to feel loved, safe, and happy.

Today, our friend Erica Johnson from Inner Parents is sharing with us her 3 Simple Secrets to become a better parent. Tips that every parent can benefit from!

3 Simple Secrets To Become A Better Parent

I think it’s safe to say that we all feel as if we could be a better parent from time to time. The time old advice to tell ourselves to be patient rarely makes us feel any better. That is because becoming a better parent actually has to do with the way that we treat ourselves. We are only as good as we are on the inside. If we can’t seem to have a handle on our emotions ourselves, how can we expect our kid to learn how to manage theirs?

If you strive to become a more inspiring and loving parent, and a happier person, read these 3 simple InnerParents secrets to becoming a better parent.

1. Take Care of Yourself

First and foremost, make a commitment to take good care of yourself so you can be the happy, understanding, and encouraging parent every child deserves to have. This means taking definite steps to integrate self-care and positivity into your daily life: Eat healthier to improve your mood, go to bed early so you are well-rested, slow down and enjoy the little things in life, transform negative thoughts into ones of encouragement. Most of all, make a commitment to manage yourself, so you are cool, calm, and collective when engaging with your child.

2. Stay Connected

Separation can easily happen, especially as your child grows and starts to become more independent. That’s why it’s important to repeatedly make connections. Take time to eat breakfast with your child in the morning and give them a hug every time that you say goodbye.

When you reunite with your child after you pick them up from school, from a play-date, or a practice, spend a full fifteen minutes focused on nothing but your child. What should you do in this fifteen minutes? Hug, listen, laugh, roughhouse, commiserate, and listen some more.

Put down the screen before dinnertime and devote your entire evening to spending time with your family. Eat together. Enjoy a snuggle or read a special book with your child every night before bed

3. Look for Your Child’s Needs in their Behavior

Believe it or not, your child usually has a reason behind whatever he or she is doing that makes you upset. It might not be a good reason in your eyes, but it is what is motivating them to act they way they are acting. If yelling helped, it would have worked already. The truth is, the only way we are going to change someone’s behavior is by acknowledging their underlying needs. Parents who focus on addressing their child’s needs are rewarded with ones who cooperate.

Your children are going to make mistakes, let’s face it, so are you. There is no such thing as the perfect parents, the perfect child, or the perfect family. But there are families who embrace the love and understanding in which every person thrives. There is no magic spell and doesn’t happen over night, but small steps in the right direction can make a huge impact. Above all, remember that great parenting starts with loving and appreciating yourself.

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