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Wellness

Why I Became A Better Parent

It’s been one year since my son was diagnosed with autism and all my efforts to be better at parenting have been for naught. With every day that passes, I feel more of a failure as a parent.

For many of us, parenting comes very naturally in the moment, but for some, it’s an exercise in endless frustration. There is a very important reason why you need to become a better parent and learn to see the importance of a specific ritual or action in your child’s life.

If you don’t take your child’s needs and behaviors into consideration when you are parenting them, chances are that you’ll end up resentful. There could be a thousand reasons for this, and that’s a very uncomfortable feeling. What we’re going to look at here is how we can be more effective parents in our children’s lives. This is not just a general exercise, but rather a key step we all have to take to make our lives more positive, productive, and enjoyable. With that in mind, let’s look at parenting more optimistically to see what we can do today. You will understand more if you see this through my eyes.

Let’s have a look at how I have changed the way I approach my kids so that I have more positive experiences with them.

I now:

Ask my children very specific questions when they are in the throes of a situation that is out of their control.

I ask my kids what they feel they need and I encourage them to be their “true selves”. The more they feel like the person they are being, the happier they will be.

I now:

Ask my kids to go places if I can.   If it gives them comfort, I will do it (I use the example of going on a bike ride).

I now:

I make my son a game of “Do Not Disturb” when he is doing something that could potentially disturb us (such as trying out his favorite toys or having a tantrum). If I don’t do this, he will often be a little upset and I’ve heard that it helps him when he’s scared and overwhelmed. 

I now:

I make sure I’m being mindful of how far my kids are willing to go and how they will respond to that when I ask them to stop.

I now

Make sure I am getting what I need from my kids as much as I possibly can, especially when it comes to food.

When I’m at my wits’ end trying to figure out what to do, I can simply listen in the moment to my children and I can see what’s going on in their minds. I no longer feel “in my head”.

I can now have an open dialogue with my kids about what they feel is important. I can ask them “what do you need?” and “what do you really want to do?”, instead of constantly thinking “what do you actually do?” or “what do you actually wish to do?”

I no longer:

Worry so much if our child cries that they miss the play date or I forget to let them out of our sight.  

I no longer:

Hate letting them outside at night.

I no longer:

Refuse to let them use their favorite toy in the daytime, because that is not how it is in our day/time.

I no longer:

Keep up on what my kids are doing on the internet.

I no longer:

Think they are going to ruin the room of the toy set for me.

I no longer:

Think I have to clean up after them or pick up after them.