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Ten Tips for Better Engagement When Parenting is Challenging:

Take a team approach- be on the same page with your partner- trust each other and back each other up.

Plan ahead- observe when and how things get hard and plan for what you can.

Breathe- if you match a child’s intensity that is losing it you will not be able to guide them or yourself out of that hard spot

You get do-overs- when you look back later you can learn from things that could have gone better- you can ask for help, forgiveness, another chance.

Learn from others- have a mentor or parenting guru you can lean on. Glean all their wisdom, and study how they respond, especially the language they choose.

Tag out- When you are not getting anywhere and frustration is running high, bring in a relief pitcher/parent or close family friend.

Remember there are 3 factors at play- you, your child & the environment- what can you change about the environment or yourself when your child is under stress

It’s okay to have non-negotiables- this provides stability & and structure. Boundaries are not mean or punitive. Seatbelts have to be worn. Teeth need to be brushed. Hitting is unacceptable.

Build a community that supports you and be vulnerable with each other. Select parent friends that have a similar style and approach so that you can help each other.

Remember this is a long game- be wary of quick fixes and easy answers. We are building complex successful human beings. This is hard and worthwhile work. There is not usually a magic fix for behavior. Time and consistency makes a difference when growth is happening. Have faith and celebrate all the amazing progress along the way.

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