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  • Writer's pictureGail The Parenting Coach

Spring Parenting Tips: Water Behavior That You Want to Grow

Do you find yourself spending more energy focusing on what you don’t want your child to do rather than focusing positive energy on what you do want your child to do?

This spring choose to water what you want to grow!

We need 4 hugs a day for survival.
We need 8 hugs a day for maintenance.
We need 12 hugs a day for growth.

6 Steps to Growing The Behaviors You Want to See More of This Spring

1. Notice your child. Be with your child. Take time to make meaningful connections whenever your child is making hard transitions, such as leaving home and going to school. Look him in the eyes, say good morning, and hug before leaving the house. Do you have a special goodbye ritual?

2. Focus on the behaviors you want to see more of, by noticing them. Look for the positive behaviors and then drench your child with encouragement. Example, You did it, you gently kissed your baby sister. You are so kind.

3. Play and have fun every day. It’s healthy. Play is essential for healthy brain development. Play reduces obesity and associated diseases. Play helps children manage stress and even recover from trauma. Play helps families bond.What does your child like to play?

4. Be present and delight in your child Carve out time, be intentional and spend 15 minutes with each child, separately, every day. You will fill their love tank or their emotional cup, which means your child doesn’t need to “Act-Out” to get your attention because you have already built a meaningful connection. Connection fosters cooperation, not control. How could you build a meaningful connection with your child?

5. Slow down. Listen and offer empathy when your child is expressing his upsetting emotions. Notice when his tone of voice or body language suggests he needs your help organizing those confusing emotions. Often parents think children are misbehaving when actually they are just communicating they are feeling mad, sad, hurt, or scared. Which emotion is hardest to help your child organize?

6. Also, don’t forget about you! Notice the things you do well as a parent. Maybe write the list down to remind yourself of those lovely qualities. Daily put on your own oxygen mask first so you have something to give away to your kids. Self-care is different than selfishness. Model self-care. What’s on your self-care list?



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