SIMPLE Solutions to Better Parenting--REALLY!

Whoever wants to be a better parent please raise his/her hand. Woah... not all at once!
Listen, we're all on the quest for the holy grail of parental perfection. A newflash: it doesn't exist.
There are ways, however, to be 'better' and it doesn't matter how busy you are, how many kids you have, how many hours you work, whether you're a single parent or have a traveling spouse. Everyone can find ways to de-stress their household and bring balance back to their family.
Do I sound like an expert? I'm NOT. In fact, I started the year with the goal of making some positive changes to my life and, more importantly, the lives of my children. Between a full time job, a spouse who works A LOT, and kids involved in everything under the sun, we're lucky if we get dinner on the table sometime between after school and breakfast the next morning. I needed something.... a checklist that I could follow. (I'm better with direction.) No, I didn't come up with it on my own. I wish I could take the credit. Famed child expert Dr Michele Borba stepped in and saved the day with an article for GALTime.com called 10 Simple Parenting Tips That Can Change Your Family. I read it and it was as if she was talking to me directly.
The list is simple but chances are you will relate to the issues...and the solutions are REAL.
She covers things like:
1. Resolution: Finding more time for to be with your child. Solution: Just identify the time & place each day your child is most receptive to listening and plant yourself there. Seriously! 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. Just find the spot and time that your child is most receptive to chatting and BE THERE.

3. Resolution: Not getting overextended so you can be less stressed around your kids. Solution: For parents who always say "I don't have enough time" or "I feel like a taxi cab service" here is a quick solution. Tape an index card to your phone. (Seriously). When someone calls your new rule is: "I first say no to the request or tell the person 'I'll have to get back to you.' You then have more time to check your calendar and think through the "worth-it" factor of that question. Say no to things that don't directly involve your family or you know will boost your stress or time factor. (Hint: I really did tape an index card to my phone. It got me in the habit of not being so quick to agree to every request).

4. Resolution: Having more positive school send- offs. Solution: Parents say that mornings generally are the most stressful time of the day and the place where they are most prone to yell or just stress out. So identify your one reoccurring stress trigger (or the time you are most likely to lose patience around your kids) and then create a simple stress-reducer solution. For instance: you lose those car keys and go bonkers trying to find them in the morning-every morning. Put up a hook right by the door to put those keys. Or if your kids always complain they can't find their homework, put a "box catcher" by the door where THEY put their backpack with their homework inserted at night-not in the morning. Or if you have a little dawdler so tell him to lay out his school clothes the night before or teach him to set his own alarm clock. Find your stressor and create a simple routine stress-reducer.
For the rest of Dr Borba's amazing tips, click here.

What is the biggest issue in your house? Do you have a de-stressor that saves the day in your family? Please share!

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