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How to be a Better Parent

There’s no doubt that we want our children to become healthy, happy, responsible and productive. And oh the things we do, the energy we exert, and the money we spend to try to make happen. But how many of us achieve the success and see real changes in our families?

There is no doubt that setting the right kind of goals will positively impact on our families. The best news is that goals don’t have to be time-consuming or costly! The trick is finding goals that work for you and your family.

I chose a few of my favorites that I’ve shared on the TODAY show and parents have reported they worked for them. Whatever goal you choose, I urge you to use the four essential Parenting Change Rules to help you be more likely to succeed.

Four Rules to Parent for Real, Lasting Change

Rule 1: Use the “One Rule”: Choose one (or at best no more than two) parenting goals that you can see yourself doing and is simple enough to fit into your lifestyle and will make a difference with your kids if you hang in there.You’ll be far more likely to succeed and boost your confidence that you can do this. You can add more parenting goals later.

Rule 2: Use the Same Strategy: Use the SAME strategy to boost that parenting goal every day for a few minutes. It’s also best to do it at the same time everyday.

Rule 3: Use Reminders: Research also finds that visual or verbal cues can help you stay on track. Put a reminder on your screen saver. Set an alarm on your phone to remind you. Tag a big sign on your refrigerator. Or ask your kid to remind you (that always works!) The parenting resolution will then not only become a family routine, but more than likely greatly improve your relationship with your child.

Rule 4: Use the “2 Es”: Just remember: the best resolutions are EASY and EFFECTIVE (think of the Two E’s). Research also says lasting change takes a minimum of 21 days of repetition so hang in there!

Top 10 Parenting Strategies for Your Family

These are just meant as mere ideas to get you thinking. Adapt the strategies anyway you want or come up with a far better one that will work for your family. Just do one! And if you start the resolution within 24 hours of reading this blog, chances are you will be more likely to succeed. Promise!

Parenting Goal 1. Increase Quality Family Time

Try this: Identify the time & place each day your child is most receptive to listening and you’re available–and plant yourself there. You don’t need a lot of time, but you do need “uninterrupted” time with your kids. Schedule it

~ Find the spot. Say it’s 5 pm around the refrigerator (that’s where my youngest was–so that’s the place I’d be each night). Or utilize the car pool: turn off the radio and talk.

~ Make sure it’s “unplugged” time. No electronics (except kitchen appliances) allowed. Enforce  one rule: “During that time you may only talk to people in the room.” Apply that also during Family Meals.

~ Utilize bedtime. Research says kids are most receptive to us five minutes before they go off to sleep. So use that time to convey your love for your child during a bedtime ritual. You could review the day or hold a “strength talk” (hold your child’s hand in yours and for each finger tell him the five special things you love most about him).

~ Check that calendar carefully. Is there one thing you can cut??? Cutting just one activity a week can free up time…

Read More: Michele Borba,

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