A New Year is approaching and with it comes a new clean slate! Forget the last 12 months of mistakes and start 2018 with a fresh set of doable objectives! No parent is perfect, so let us embrace our non-perfect parenting this year and instead of huge changes, let’s try and make small changes that will make parenting a lot more rewarding, but a lot less stressful!
Here are my top 5 totoally doable, New Year Parenting Resolutions:
1. Restrict Digital Distractions
Let’s face it, we are all becoming a slave to our mobile phones and tablets and it can become all consuming. Try and restrict the time you and your children spend playing on electronic devices. Why not try and have one day a week where you ‘unplug’ and ‘regroup’?! Read a book, play a game, bake, play with toys, listen to music, draw pictures… these are things you can enjoy together.
2. Have a Little Patience
In the words of Take That, try and ‘Have a Little Patience.’ I hate it when after a long day I snap at Katie. I always feel awful afterwards as I know it’s because I am tired. If they don’t go to bed straight away, take a deep breathe, read them a bedtime story and then try again. If you do find yourself getting annoyed with your children, try and tell them why you are upset and keep it focused on your feelings instead of what they are doing. For example “Mummy is feeling very tired,” instead of “You’re really annoying Mummy right now.”
3. Get Outdoors
Breathe in the fresh air and enjoy outdoor activities with your children. I used to take Katie to the park every Sunday morning and now we enjoy a bike ride together every weekend. This is good for you and your child as sometimes staying indoors can make us feel anxious and a little claustrophobic and this is when you tend to get worked up and potentially snap.
4. Put a cap on your working day
I made a conscious effort this year to try and not check my work e-mail after 6pm so I could be present for my daughter and spend quality time together. Don’t get me wrong, there were times when I cracked, but I found turning my laptop and phone off during these times helped me focus on what was important – me and my daughter.
5. Make Time for You
Make sure you take some time out from the kids. Get a babysitter and go and see your friends for a glass of wine and a gossip, go to the cinema, visit a spa, go for a run, read a book. Yes, your children are your first priority, but you need to look after yourself too! If you are run down, it’s hard to be a positive parent. If you have a partner make sure you enjoy a ‘Date Night’, even if it is at home. Sometimes being a fantastic parent, means you can forget about your fantastic husband/wife and it is important to show each other how much you care! Seeing their parents happy will make your child feel secure and happy too!
Wishing you all a happy and healthy New Year. Here’s to 2018!