No family is perfect. That much we can accept is a universal truth. But that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a lot we can do to change and improve our family. We can be kinder to one another, we can have more fun together, we can help fulfill each other, we can do better for our part in the world. But you have to work to change your family. Here are a few changes that you might have to take the lead on making.
Appreciate the bright spots
Let’s start by saying that you should never think about changing absolutely everything about your family. There’s a good chance that some shared interests, rituals, or even ways that they help out you, each other, and the community already exist. If that’s the case, make sure you show that you appreciate that behavior. Praise it in your children, be thankful for it in your partner. Focus on those bright spots in the family life and show appreciation for them. Not only is it a way to show the family that you value them, but it’s also a bit of positive reinforcement that gets them on board to get more of the same, which can be a great facilitator for change.
Building family rituals
Bonds are best made by shared experiences and there’s a lot of opportunity to get them in the family. Some of these can become family rituals that are repeated every year or every other year. They might be silly and even a little mundane, like having a family video night or the occasional bowling trip with one another. They are also likely to evolve in time based on interests or what kind of availability the family has as they grow up. Accept those evolutions, but make sure that you always have a ritual or two to come back to. It can form the backbone of warm memories that last a lifetime for your children.
Finding fun together
A shared hobby can go a lot further than a ritual that the whole family can get involved in. If you have the time, consider finding the hobbies that you can share with individual children. If one of them is sporty, perhaps you can join a tennis or golfing club with them. If one of them is showing a creative streak, then getting into new crafts projects with them can give you the chance to collaboratively express yourselves. If you have a reader in the family, a book club of two can be hugely enriching for both of you. Hobbies are great connecting forces and encouraging shared hobbies between family members can bring everyone a lot tighter together.
Getting away from it all
One of the most exciting and positive ways to get the family to change is to give them a change of scenery. Sometimes, sticking to a familiar environment exclusively can be something of a catalyst to rising tensions, frustration, or boredom. Having somewhere you can get away to now and then can make a huge difference. Whether that’s taking a road trip, having a favorite camping spot, or looking at a new condo launch to find a vacation home. The change in environment can offer a change in perspective, and it also allows you to get away from many of the mundane challenges of home that can build up and really become an issue for some members of the family. More than anything, it provides another opportunity to build shared memories.
Making the world better
Perhaps you’re worried that your family isn’t contributing much. You might be worried that they’re not playing an active enough role in being better people, being responsible, and doing better for the world. When it comes to instilling such deep and important values, you have to lead by example and get them learning as soon as possible. Start making green changes to the home and start talking to them about how to be more environmentally ethical. It’s a great idea to show them exactly what you’re hoping to protect with them, as well. A trip to a national park every now and then and the chance to spot natural beauty on any family vacations abroad serve as a better example for younger minds than facts and figures.
The community is suffering, and that’s partly because families no longer have the close connections that they used to. However, good friends and the support of people outside the immediate family can be tremendously important to growing up with a healthy sense of connection to the world. To that end, it’s a good idea to find opportunities for you and the kids to get more involved in the community. It might mean joining a local organization doing volunteer work in the area. Perhaps it might involve setting up a book club or finding playdates for them. It’s becoming harder for parents to teach their children how to socialize, so finding those opportunities to make a big difference.
Having the big talks
Activities, opportunities, and shared experiences are all well and good. But they are no replacement for good communication. The ability to get your child to share (almost) everything with you and the ability to be able to talk to them maturely about important concepts such as money and values can seem like a rare treasure. But it’s not truly all that difficult to build up. You just have to make the time. Ten minutes of uninterrupted talk with each child, where they don’t have video games or homework as a distraction and you’re not trying to push any agenda, can be a huge help. Ask them about their day. Be a good listener. Show empathy if they’re talking about bad or sad feelings by offering a simple touch or a hug. Take time for what they want to communicate, so they know how it’s done when you have something you want to communicate.
The idea of changing the people you love, or even yourself, might sound scary to a lot of people and you shouldn’t try to force change. Rather, you should work to lead the way, inviting the family to join you. Get them excited and collaborative, rather than trying to pressure them.
When you become a parent, you suddenly enter a new world of responsibilities. For most families, it is a lifestyle change. Not only does it mean that you need to look after a child on top of yourself – and more often than not before you look after yourself – but it also means that you are a role model. In other words, if you were looking for an excuse to reduce binge eating or drinking, now is the right time for it. However, parenthood means that you adopt new habits that will redefine your family and your house. Do you remember the time you used to be a trendy couple? While you can still be trendy, your friends and relatives will begin to see you as parents. You will be judged on your parenting abilities – which is unfair, but so is life. Additionally, your parenting head means that you think of your house in different terms. It has to be safe and practical for the family. Décor is less of a priority. Finally, raising children is expensive. Consequently, your parent’s abilities also include saving tips.
Home Improvement Projects Give You Some Breathing Space
You can say goodbye to your house as you knew it when you have children. Indeed, you will be looking at home improvement projects to improve everybody’s life at home. This means at first working in the nursery room, as you want your child to have his or her own bedroom. The next room to go through the improvement list will be the bathroom, as it will need to be safe for a young child – which means that if you don’t have a bathtub, you will need to get one for baby bath routine –, practical for the whole family – even your child needs a bathroom shelf – and offering the latest bathroom tech. Most families choose to research bathrooms online to find affordable options and DIY tips. The next child-related room that you will consider is the lounge. Sharp corners, precious decorative items and white carpet will need to disappear for a few years’ time.
You Join A Parenting School
You may not be aware of it, but there are a variety of parenting schools. In truth, it defines how other parents or friends perceive you. Whether you are a parent who is aware of the traps of bad parenting, or an anxious parent who has a pharmacy full of first-aids and various medicines, your parent’s personality is reflected in every room of your house. The boho parent is not afraid of a little chaos and rarely has the necessary baby gear at a given time. The nervous parent has wipes in every room and a dozen of baby vitamins in the bathroom. The perfectionist parent has already lowered most pieces of furniture to teach their baby to walk early.
You Know All The Saving Tricks
Last, but not least, as a parent, you know that you can benefit from discounted offers with your baby. But you also know all the tricks to save money throughout the year. You suddenly develop a knowledge of child taxes that you didn’t know you had. You collect childcare vouchers and school vouchers too, to save as much as you can. You even have a keen interest in energy bills, and you know that switching provider can save you hundreds of pounds at
Times have changed a lot when it comes to parenting. The way in which we parent tends to be vastly different to how our parents brought us up. Of course, we’re all entitled to parent in our own why. However, while that’s all well and good, there are some methods of parenting that our parents used, that we should consider using.
Although times have changed, that doesn’t mean that the principles of parenting that were used 50 years ago aren’t relevant. So, with that in mind, below are some examples of parenting methods that were popular 50 years ago, and could still work well today.
Should You Be Incorporating Old Fashioned Parenting Tips Into How You Raise Your Kids?
Photo from Flickr
Put the needs of the entire family first
50 years ago, most families would put the needs of the entire family first. Instead of focusing on the individual needs of each family member. Of course, you want to do everything that you can to make your children’s lives as happy and comfortable as possible. However, that doesn’t have to mean pandering to their every need. As a parent, you also need to make time for yourself. Because if you don’t take time out for yourself, you won’t be able to be the best parent that you can be. Sending your kids to spend a night with their grandparents won’t kill them, even if they are fed junk food.
Teaching your child life skills is important
Today, many children have no idea how to sew on a button. Whereas, 50 years ago, all children would know how to sew. As well as a good education, children also need to learn life skills. That’s why as a parent, it’s important to ensure that your children learn the little things that will help to get them through life. Things like learning how to cook homemade food, sew up a rip in their clothes, and budget effectively. These might seem like skills they can learn later in life, but the sooner they master them, the better. Take sewing, for instance; it’s something that everyone should be able to do. As well as teaching them to sew by hand, invest in the best sewing machine for beginners and teach them how to sew with a machine. This makes sewing much quicker and easier.
Disciplining a child isn’t about consequences
The important thing to understand about discipline is that it’s not about the consequences. It’s about communicating with your child. Of course, consequences are important, but communication is even more important. If you simply say, ‘because you pushed your friend, you’re banned from watching TV for a week,’ this won’t tell them why you’re annoyed. Instead, you need to explain to your child how they made their friend feel when they were mean to them, and why we should always try to be nice. It’s also important to ask them why they pushed them, to find out if there was an underlying reason. Communication is key when it comes to discipline.
So there you have it, some of the old-fashioned methods of parenting you should consider using when raising your kids.
This is a collaborative post with YourOrganicChild.com