New Year–Wiser Parent

January 4, 2014

It’s time to put forth your best effort on achieving those new year goals! It’s the time of year when we all think about “New Year – New You” resolutions like get a new job, lose weight or start putting money in the college fund.


I absolutely want to lose weight and know that the goal requires taking baby steps (I’ve already tried and failed at the all-or-nothing approach). I have committed to eating less bread and scheduling yoga once a week.

But I definitely don’t want a new job! I love being a psychologist and parent consultant AND I love being a parent even more! But it is never too late to take the baby steps necessary to resolve to DO a better job at being a parent! Here are 3 to consider:

1. Celebrate your child’s strengths – Often we focus on what our kids are doing wrong and trying to “fix” those things. Resolve to focus on what your kids do well – and right. Notice if they get shutterstock_164519552their buttons lined up, remember to play nicely with their sibling or share the X-box controller. Mention new vocabulary words they are using or how their handwriting has improved. Build up your child’s confidence and you will be amazed at the improvement in competence!

2. Praise your child for their efforts – It isn’t always the final result that matters but the hard work it takes to get there! Just look at any of the college football teams in this week’s bowl games and you’ll see a whole lot of effort – but only one team goes home with the trophy. Your kids won’t always go home with the trophy but encourage their efforts every day to get to the finish line. My favorite phrase to keep your kids motivated, “I love to watch you (fill in the blank).”

3. Hug your kids every day – This is self-explanatory but, I know there are times when we parents are too tired…too angry…too frustrated…too over-it-all to take the time to reconnect with our kids! Make the time – anytime – to hug your kids. They need to know that everyday you love them and care about them – even when their behavior is insane!

Resolve to make 2020 a “New Year – New You” year! Stay tuned for more ways to be the best parent you can be – and some exciting programs coming in 2020 to work with us on becoming a WISE family!