Better Parenting Starts with Self-Reflection

From toddlers to teenagers, our kids will always find new ways to test the limits and test our patience! As parents, we all want our children to grow into strong and confident adults. We often assume behavior correction is the most effective teaching tool, however, many parents forget to turn inward when reflecting on their
children’s behaviors.

David Siegel, neuropsychiatrist and author of “The Whole Brain Child” writes, “As children develop, their brains ‘mirror’ their parent’s brain. In other words, the parent’s own growth and development, or lack of those, impact the child’s brain. As parents become more aware and emotionally healthy, their children reap the rewards and move toward health as well.”

How do you keep yourself on a path toward parental success?

Here are a few questions to ask yourself:
1) “What kind of mood am I in today?”

If I’m not happy with my mood, what do I need to do to create a contagious positive mood? We all have the ability to create a new mood using positive and healthy coping skills. Make a conscious effort to note your mood and do what helps you remain calm and present.

2) Am I taking care of my basic needs? 
(Such as eating well, moving your body, connecting with friends) So often parents are concerned about their children’s basic needs, they forget about their own.

3) Am I dealing with my stressors effectively and appropriately? 
Parents can often experience stress on a daily basis. Your children see how you manage this daily stress and learn from your responses and reactions. Choose to use healthy, effective strategies for stress management such as exercise, yoga, meditation, art, music, writing, and more.

When thinking about parenting as a whole, we can’t forget about our own health and wellness. Your children love you, it’s so important for them to see that you love you too.

Here’s to your emotional growth and Well Being!
Kendall Klas, LCSW