Monday, February 21, 2011

Parent's Top Ten List - #3

We’ve been counting down the 2011 Parent’s Top Ten List, which is available here, and today’s post, #3 on the list, is a little different. It is about investing in yourself.

3. Invest in yourself as a parent at least once a month – take a course or workshop, read a book, observe another parent, call a friend, receive some coaching

A parent who recently participated in our Gourmet Lunch ‘n Learn workshops said that one of the things that was most helpful was seeing other perspectives. Sometimes she felt stuck, and simply hearing various alternatives unlocked her from the inertia.

Parents have commented that they felt supported and no longer alone after hearing other parents talk about the challenges they faced at home during the Redirecting Children’s Behavior Course.

For me, reading through Haim Ginott’s Between Parent and Teenager, with the wonderful conversations between parents and teens, reminds me to detach and gives me a more flexible and creative place from which to parent.

With all of the challenges of parenting, it is important that you encourage and nurture yourself. With the isolation you might experience as a parent, it is important that you know you are part of a larger community involved in raising children. With the daily routine of parenting, it is important that you hear new words to use, see new ways to handle conflict and understand why your children do what they do.

It can be as simple as a trip to the library to check out a book (see our recommended reading here) or discussing an issue you are having with your teen over coffee with a trusted friend. It can mean taking a course in your community. Whole Hearted Parenting offers Lunch ‘n Learn Workshops, teleseminars that you can take from home, coaching and courses. Check the International Network for Children and Families for a Redirecting Children's Behavior course in your area.

Invest in yourself. The immediate as well as the long-term dividends are great.

To hear this as a podcast, click here.

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