How To Keep Your Parenting Cool – Part 3by Dr Emma Gray - 10th March, 2015
3. Review and tweak your plan
No plan or way of dealing with behaviour should be written in stone. Being a parent is the steepest learning curve most of us will ever experience and it is a lifelong lesson, so constantly review and tweak the way that you do things.
Each stage presents a new challenge and as you graduate from one to another your expectations change. It doesn’t get easier as your children get older the challenges are simply different. This should allow you be tolerant of both yourself and your children and keep you thinking about what you are doing. There is no such thing as the perfect parent so try to be a thoughtful parent.
When you get it wrong, which you will despite all your best intentions, say you are sorry. This will stop your children taking responsibility for your mistakes (a tendency in children) and teach them that it is normal to make mistakes. It will also help you to manage any self-criticism, anxiety and guilt over the fact that your aren’t a perfect parent. ‘To err is human’ and an acceptance of this is pivotal in the development of self-esteem, the cornerstone of good mental health.
The secret to good mental health is a parent(s) who understands what we need and is able to then meet that need consistently. So think about why and what you say and do, empathise with your child, lead by example and learn from your mistakes.
The Clinical Psychologists and Counselling Psychologist at The British CBT & Counselling Service are available for further help and advice on parenting.
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