By Melissa Ford
Empowered Parenting Solutions’ booth was very active this last sunday at Day in Our Village, teeming with parents, kids, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and parents to be! I credit the day’s success to: being conveniently located next to Eastwood Expressions, a talented husband-wife team teaching art classes to kids ages 2-1/2 to 16 years as well as Adult Artistry Workshops, the perfect sunny, warm weather, AND my careful selection of unsuspecting Day in Our Village revelers to answer one burning question:
“What is a tip, strategy or sage piece of advice you would like to offer parents that has helped you be a more effective parent?”
Below you will find heartfelt, thoughtful, and insightful responses from parents (and kids) with years of parenting experience. Enjoy! I certainly did.
- Be kind and empathetic, and validate what your child is feeling rather than dismiss his or her internal experience. - Melissa
- That counting thing parents do with kids. . . I do it for myself. - Felicia
- Communicate with your children consistently. Be actively involved in their lives because with our hectic, professional lives you don’t want to put your relationships on the back burner. - Jack
- Tell yourself that the things that are driving you to an early grave now are the very qualities that will make your child a raving success in the future. - Amy (How true!)
- I have two things that work for me; I reach out to my brother who has four kids. He has lots of ideas, some work and some don’t. And, I concentrate on staying calm. - Nate
- Don’t be afraid to say “No” to your child and don’t be afraid to let your child fail. - Anonymous
- Take your children to the library once a week and explore. Expose them to literature, to the bigger world. - David
- My son would have meltdowns after day care so I brought him a special cup filled with water. He carries it everywhere and it helps him transition. And, when things are getting tough for him and he needs to pull himself together, he takes a timeout. That works for him. - Kelin
- I have a son with special needs. He has his own sport, his special activity so he doesn’t have to compete against his brothers. This is his area where he can thrive and we can celebrate his accomplishments. - Alejandra
- Read to your kids and don’t use baby talk. Kids, who are read to, can sit for a story, they are engaged, they point at pictures in a book; all of this carries into school. - Tracy
- If your kids aren’t behaving the way you want them to - be calm because it works. - Nicholas, age 9
- When I disobey my mom, I do it for a reaction. Being calm defeats the purpose. - Simone, age 13
- Meet your child where he is at. Be patient, loving and understanding. Get to know your child and do not compare him to others. - Tawanda
- Less is more. We spent four hours at the pool together with no fancy toys, just enjoying each others company. - Scott
- Be firm yet friendly. - Chejuana
- Have break times in between homework times. - Gabi, age 12
- Let kids have more fun and less work about chores. - Alyssa, age 12
- Find a way to keep your patience. - Jennifer and Russ
- Be nice to your kids. - Anonymous
- My young son is an early riser. He gets up at 5 am. You can’t change him; we tried putting him to bed later yet he still gets up. My advice: go to bed early. . . I’m hoping this is just a phase. - Malinda
- Choose your battles. - Larry
- I feel really lucky; our son is amazing. I admire him; he has lots of emotional maturity. - Kitty
- There is nothing more important than a child knowing s/he is safe. Establish boundaries, rules. Kids want to be parented. They want guidance. - Keriaynn
- I was a new age mom that just wanted to go with the flow. I learned otherwise. Set those boundaries and keep those boundaries. - Janet
- Talk it out with your kid, whatever the problem. And, remember: patience, patience, patience. - Floressa
- You don’t have to be involved with everything your kid does. - Lisa
- You don’t have to be “on” all the time. There’s a difference between “being” and “doing.” My kids like to just hang out and talk. - Anonymous
Do you have a parenting tip or piece of advice to share? What is something you've learned that has helped you become a more effective, loving parent?
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