Tips for Making Parenting (a little bit) Easier

Let's just say, parenting is a unique experience.  It is hard to explain the duality of it-- parenting is both the most challenging and rewarding experience that changes from one minute to the next!  

I am a parent to 2 tiny humans.  Their growth and curiosity about the world contributes to my own anxiety and fears. I have realized the need for me to do my own work around what it means to parent and be a sturdy adult in their lives. 

For many mamas, papas and caregivers out there, raising children is filled with uncertainty. Dr. Becky Kennedy's parenting book, Good Inside, is a helpful resource.

The goal of the book is to support parents in raising emotionally resilient children. 

The author provides concrete examples of how to address specific concerns (i.e. lying, hitting, whining, etc.). 

One of the most valuable takeaways from the book is its emphasis on validating a child’s emotions. Instead of dismissing a child's feelings, Kennedy encourages parents to acknowledge and validate them, even when you don't understand or share the same emotions.

For example: 

Old way 

3 year old: I don't like going swimming anymore!  

Parent: Too bad, you need to tough it out. We're going! 

3 year old: <<big emotions.  Does not feel connected to parent.  May feel isolated and misunderstood.>>

New way:

3 year old: I don't like going swimming anymore!  

Parent: ((DEEP BREATH)) It is so hard doing things you don't want to do. Tell me more about what you don't like. Let's see if we can talk more about this. 

3 year old: <<may still experience big emotions but feels connected to parent>>.  

Parent: <<May continue talking with child and is setting up a co-regulated energy for the child to feel safe exploring their emotions>>

Whether or not the child goes swimming is not the point. The point is to connect and deepen understanding of the child's point of view, to allow the child to feel heard and connected to their parent/caregiver.  When the child feels that way, it will be easier to make a mutual decision about swimming or any other conflict. 

If you are more interested in learning more about Dr. Becky's work, she is on Instagram and also has a Good Inside parent community group you can join. 

I work with a lot of parents who are on the parenting struggle bus. If you want to explore ways that therapy can support you, please do not hesitate to reach out!