Do You Have Parenting Resolutions?

Filed under: Expert Advice: Babies, Expert Advice: Toddlers & Preschoolers, Expert Advice: Big Kids, Expert Advice: Tweens, Expert Advice: Just For You, Expert Advice: Family Time, Expert Advice: Home Base

blackboard and chalkIt's the time of year for wiping the slate clean, starting fresh, turning over a new leaf ... pick your cliche, the bottom line is that we're all making resolutions to do better and be better. So why not take a minute to think about what your parenting resolutions are for 2009?

Lisa Belkin at the The New York Times blog "Motherlode" gives us a few suggestions as a starting point:

Give Them A New Trick: Tell your kids to always notice what color eyes a person has. Making eye contact helps shy kids be more confident and helps all kids appear more assertive, a habit that will serve them well throughout their lives.

Pick Your Battles:
This one is near and dear to my heart. Does your kid want to wear stripes with polka dots? Read my lips -- LET IT GO. Save the crackdown for things that matter, like honesty and kindness to others.

Help Them With Their Social Skills: Ask your kids three "you" questions each day. Not only does it show that you are interested in them, it teaches them to reciprocate, which in turn translates into an ability to make conversation. This is a skill that so many people lack. Start early!

Admit When You Are Wrong: Hoo boy, do I need to remember this one. When you make a mistake, own it. Blow up over spilled milk? Be the bigger parent and apologize to your kid when you blow it.

Public Displays Of Affection:
My parents were all over each other like teenagers at prom when I was a kid, and it totally grossed me out. But I always knew they loved each other, which made it easier to take when they had the occasional argument. Show your spouse the love -- in front of the kids. Teach them how to give and accept affection.

My personal resolution? Stop saying "in a minute." Whatever I'm doing isn't as important as playing make-believe with my 4-year-old, or munching the cheeks of my 4-month-old.

So what's your parenting resolution for 2009? Do tell.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.