As the excitement of the New Year – and indeed a new decade – subsides, we now find ourselves settling back into reality and taking stock of any resolutions we may have made (or already broken).
Most New Year’s commitments involve changing our diet, exercising more, saving money or spending less. Interestingly enough, improving our parenting skills is a resolution I rarely hear and considering that raising another human seems pretty important, this is surprising to me.
Being a parent in the modern world is tough. We are time-poor, but data-rich. We feel permanently stressed, worn-out and overwhelmed – and consequently, we often fall short of being the parent we want to be.
We think to ourselves, “if we can just get through this week/month/phase, then we’ll be back on track,” but unfortunately, the world doesn’t slow down and before we know it, our children are filling in university application forms and learning to drive.
So, isn’t it important to enjoy the time we have with them? To thrive in our parenting rather than just surviving.
Fortunately, there seems to be a mindset shift based on recent neuroscience and child development research, which is contrary to traditional, mainstream parenting.
Scientists are telling us that time-outs, the naughty step, crying-it-out and reward charts just don’t work long-term and they may even be detrimental to the wellbeing of our children.
As a huge advocate of tranquil parenting, this is music to my ears. Mainstream methods often bring stress, conflict and disconnection to our family lives.
But there is a better way!
How does parenting with purpose, based on respect, empathy and positivity, sound? Unrealistic, I hear you say. Quite the opposite in fact; it’s achievable and well within our capabilities as a loving parent.
This way can certainly deepen the connection with our children and create an element of calm in our otherwise chaotic lives. It can also prevent that stomach-churning feeling of guilt when we have lost our temper with our children or doled out another punishment before bedtime.
It’s never too late to make a resolution. So, let’s promise to be more mindful in our parenting, prioritise bringing joy back into our family and building a life we actually love.
Nadia McSheffrey is founder of The Tranquil Treehouse. Nadia works with parents to help them be the parent they want to be and find tranquillity in their family lives. She also works with children and teachers to support their own emotional wellbeing.
Find her at thetranquiltreehouse.com and on Facebook and Instagram.