My dad passed away recently and it’s made me really reflect on what’s important in life. The things that REALLY matter. Family is everything. As part of my reflection, I decided to take an online parenting course. Our baby is due in a few weeks, and I really wanted to better myself as a mother before we add child #4 to the mix. It has been awesome for my husband and I, and in just a couple days we have already started implementing many of the things we are learning. It’s crazy how understanding just one small principle can make such a big difference. Most of the course is based on 2 things that every kid needs from their parents, and how to make sure these needs are being fulfilled.
2 Things Every Kid Needs From Their Parents
The two things mentioned that every kid needs from their parents (besides basic food, safety and shelter) are belonging and significance.
Almost all misbehaviors stem from an unmet need in one of these areas. Belonging–does your child feel they have a place in the family? That they belong? That they are valued?
Significance–Does your child have a sense of autonomy? Are they given freedom to make choices and show their independence? Do they know their talents and value their hard work?
When my children are misbehaving, I find myself reaching out with more empathy and love when I ask myself the question, “How might this child be lacking in belonging or significance today? What needs do they have?”
Their is SO MUCH that goes into this (consequences that work, one-on-one time with parents, sibling relationships, etc.) that I can’t get into it all, but if you want a really good framework for what I’m learning, I started with this free parenting training and it’s full of a lot of really good information and tips!
Also, we implemented a new family tradition called “Family Awards Night” to help my husband and I remember to encourage each of our children each week. Get the free printable below
Just make sure you are focusing less on “achievements” and more on attributes and ways your children are becoming better. Things like “Working so hard” instead of “you got an A”, or “treating your sister with kindness” instead of “you’re so kind.” Basically you want to avoid putting labels on your children, and you want to focus on progress and hard work instead of achievements, praise and awards. There’s so much more on this in the course, but it would take me an hour to get into it all.