Tuesday, August 24, 2010

A Parenting List!

Motherhood Uncensored has a Be a Better Parent Challenge going on, and for one who feels a little nervous and clueless about the whole parenting scene (and also one who loves a list), it's been enlightening to mull over her strategies.

  • Be present.
  • Punish without anger.
  • No more "good job!" Be specific with praise.
  • Take a break from your kid.
  • Know your triggers and try to avoid them.
  • Be the fun one.
  • You're not perfect. Acknowledge it with them, and move on.
  • Play what they want to play.
  • Instead of "in a minute" give an actual measurable time and stick to it.
  • Catch them being good and give positive reinforcement.
  • Start a weekly family tradition.
  • Say what you mean and mean what you say.
  • Don't ask. Tell.
  • Get happy!
  • Let the other parent parent.
  • Keep a parenting journal.
  • Control your temper. High emotion begets high emotion.
  • Have dates with your kid.
  • Give them choices--two, highly-regulated, clear choices.
  • Label their choices as good or bad, not the kids as good or bad.
Okay, this list doesn't address what I'm most nervous about: an unreasonable, inconsolable, floppy mass of newborn baby. I still don't know about that, but it's pretty encouraging to think that so many of these were strategies I used in teaching. Um, hello, positive reinforcement and giving choices and disengaging my anger. Those three things transformed my classroom. I mean, come on, we've even seen the power of positive reinforcement (and failure of negative) in housebreaking Lu! Okay, I'm starting to feel better.

Now, I just need to crack open my Happiest Baby on the Block and Babywise.


Kelly said...

Cute list! I've been stalking your blog this week. So excited for your upcoming arrival! You will be an amazing mother, as you have a wonderful example in your own and are already putting a lot of effort into preparations...and not just on the nursery.

I only had time to read "Happiest Baby on the Block" between feedings with my first, so having to read two (or more) books was out of the question. Worked wonderfully for us, but depends a lot on your baby too! Amazing how many items on your list do apply to the little floppy messes. They figure things out so quickly and are only floppy for such a short time! The two choices is very true, when I first learned it I would give the same choice but in two different tones, and worked perfectly. My oldest outgrew that trick by 15 months, but was handy while it lasted!

Just wanted to tell you to enjoy the "floppy"ness, thankfully only takes a short while to get your "sea legs" as a new mom!

Beth Wooten said...

Thanks, Kelly! I've heard so many good things about Happiest Baby on the Block. It's so reassuring to hear from moms who've been there. Thanks for stopping by and for your encouragement!

Michele said...

I love a good list! You're off to a great start. So fun to keep up with you and your adventures through your blog! It's been a long time since Evans Library at A&M :)