Parenting is hard and complicated. Children all have different temperaments, personality styles, special needs, and tendencies. Each parent has their own set of needs, expectations, and histories that color their parenting style. Putting together a parenting plan that will produce secure, well-adjusted children is a tedious task. This roadmap helps parents along the way. While there is no comprehensive parenting guide, this will introduce evidence-based aspects of parenting that will help your children thrive even in a chaotic world.
This guide provides resources for parents with children from birth until they are grown. It offers positive parenting techniques and tips to improve connection and attachment, avoid power struggles, and help children problem-solve. Each stage in parenting comes with its own challenges. This guide will point parents toward helpful resources for every step along the way.
Attachment / Bonding
How to Form a Secure Attachment
Forming a strong attachment to your child is the first goal of parenting. This strong attachment helps children feel safe and secure in the world and provides trust within your relationship. This bond will set the stage for future openness and connection. It is never too late to start building a secure attachment. You can read more here.
5 Love Languages
Understanding the love languages of your family members will bring an understanding of the needs and wants of each person in the family. This article explains the 5 Love Languages and provides resources for more information.
Communication is a vital part of relationships. Your communication style can predict whether or not your relationships will be successful. You are not doomed forever if your communication is lacking. We've got you. This article presents skills to help improve communication and make your relationships stronger.
Communication is the Plumbing
This article is one of a series about building strong relationships that will withstand the test of time. I highly recommend reading the whole series. Consider your relationships like a building. It needs a strong foundation, frame, and interior structure. Communication is what keeps everything flowing.
Using logical consequences for behavior is one of my favorite parenting techniques. Kids learn problem-solving skills and grow in responsibility while parents avoid power struggles. The problem becomes the focus rather than the parent being the bad guy by doling out punishments. Instead, parents play the role of consultants to help children deal with problems. Learn more here.
Avoiding Extremes in Parenting
I have a motto: Stay on the road and out of the ditches. When you go to extremes you usually end up in trouble. This article explains how to take the benefits from different parenting methods without falling into the pitfalls that can come with being too extreme with them. It highlights the three main parenting styles: authoritarian, authoritative, and permissive. Parents will learn how to find the right balance to create an environment for their children to thrive.
5 Habits of a Healthy Family
Implementing consistent patterns in your family can reduce anxiety and help your family stay connected. This article highlights five habits you see in most healthy, well-functioning families. Implementing new habits can change the environment in your home and everyone's sense of belonging.
Teaching Your Children
Teaching kids how to do basic life skills seems like a never-ending process. This article highlights tried and true ways to help kids succeed and to avoid pitfalls. Following the step-by-step process and avoiding criticism will help your children succeed and want to learn.
Redirection is a quick and easy parenting skill to avoid tantrums, meltdowns, and power struggles. This simple skill allows parents to save other parenting interventions for more complicated situations. This is simply intervening in a small situation to stop unwanted behavior and redirect the child in a different way. More information is available here.
Responding vs. Reacting
Your reaction to your child has a lot to do with how they act. If you get angry and start yelling, your child will likely either get angry as well or react with crying and withdrawing. Taking a moment to gather your thoughts and emotions before saying or doing anything can reduce stress and help improve communication and problem-solving. Find out the details here.
Children have a way of making us aware of who we really are. They are also quick to highlight our imperfections and failures. Since your kids will do what you do and repeat everything you say, it's important to be the kind of person you want your child to be. This article features a video about a mama who will hit you in the feels. She gets it! There is much to be learned about modeling.
Watch Your Words to Avoid Power Struggles
Children hate the word no. They feel out of control and will often respond in anger or meltdowns. This article explains ways to set boundaries by changing your language and allowing your child to feel a sense of control and hope. You can say no without using the trigger word.
5 Ways to Help your Children After Divorce
Divorce is hard on the entire family. This article highlights ways parents can minimize the impact on their children by using healthy communication, avoiding putting their children in the middle, and by minimizing changes their children must endure. Learn more here.
How to Help Your Child with Anxiety
There are many reasons that children experience anxiety. It could be trauma, irrational thoughts, or unpleasant experiences from the past. Some anxiety is normal and to be expected. Anxiety can also come from chemical triggers, nutritional needs, and genetics. This guide offers ways for parents to intervene and tips for when more help is needed.
Hide and Seek for Separation Anxiety
Separation anxiety can be hard on both parents and children. This article on playing hide and seek for separation anxiety helps explain the process of helping children work through anxiety in a playful, secure environment. It is using exposure therapy to help kids become more comfortable with their parents' absence.
How to Stop the Fight or Flight Response
The fight or flight response has a significant impact on the body and is a distressing aspect of anxiety. This article explains what the response it, why it occurs, and how to turn it off. This will help children gain mastery over their bodies' response to anxiety and anger.
CBT for Nightmares
Nightmares are terrifying and can disrupt sleep for the whole family. There are interventions to stop these nightmares. This article explains how to use cognitive behavioral therapy to rescript nightmares.
Caring for a loved one in their final days is challenging. I speak from experience on this one. We have cared for both my husband's step-dad and his mom in our home during their final days. It is a hard balance to meet the needs of your ailing loved one while also meeting the demands of parenthood. This article offers tips and interventions to help your children understand what is happening and how to help them cope.
Parenting a Strong-Willed Child
Power struggles lead in parenting lead to chaos. It tends to build over time and the blowups get bigger as the children grow if things do not change. This article highlights the reasons kids fight for control and ways parents can intervene without the fights.
The Truth Behind the Lies
There are many reasons children tell lies. This article highlights many different motivations. If you can figure out the motivation, you can then make a plan to change the behavior. It is addressing the root issue.
Tips to Helping Foster Children Adjust to Your Home
Children in foster care experience deep grief and shock as well as trauma. Most have experienced trauma in their homelife resulting in the removal from the home, but they also experience trauma from just being separated from their family. This article helps foster parents recognize the needs of the kids and ways to make them feel more at home.
Grieving During the Holidays
Many people are aware of the difficulty people face after losing a loved one during the holidays, but often fail to consider how foster children feel about being separated from their loved ones. This article highlights ways to help them cope and to show sensitivity to their needs.
While parenting is hard, there are many ways to make it easier. I hope you have enjoyed this roadmap for parenting. Check back occasionally, as this page will grow and become more dynamic with time.