Being a parent was never super-easy, but in the current information age, we’re subject to constant emotional assault via reminders of what might happen to the world in general and children in particular, plus opinions on everything you could conceivably be doing wrong as a parent (and how perfect everyone else’s kids are, according to social media).
The first step toward parenting with peace of mind is to turn off the media input, and invest the time you save into proactive parenting. Here are our best suggestions.
- Get the real data on what concerns are specific to your area—and advice on precautions to take—directly from health and law-enforcement experts. Check local-government websites for the most relevant information.
- Find age-appropriate data addressing concerns and advice, and share these with your children.
- Make sure children know what they should do in case of emergency: you can’t count on being there to protect them 24/7, nor is it in their best interest to see you as their sole resource.
- Allow your children lots of active and outdoor playtime. If you (or local laws) feel it’s unwise to let them roam freely, provide them with a fenced yard or open balcony.
- To avoid overreliance on fast food, make healthy meals in bulk and freeze individual portions, or subscribe to a meal-delivery Stock nuts, fruits, and vegetables for snacks.
- Check recommended hours of sleep for your children’s ages, and make sure everyone gets to bed at reasonable hours.
- Keep medical checkups and vaccinations up to date.
- What’s good for your children is good for you. Make healthy practices into family activities whenever possible.
- Let everyone keep his own room according to his own definition of order, and remember that the extreme-messiness habit rarely lasts beyond the first few times it takes two hours to find a needed item.
- Invite kids to help with chores as part of a family team. They won’t find it onerous if you avoid grumbling, demanding, or fretting over whether everything is done “just right.”
- Avoid nagging about school performance, and avoid all “you’ll never get a decent job without better grades” comments. Instead, have real conversations about what your children are learning and what it means to them personally.
- Encourage your children to follow their own dreams. Trust that they know instinctively what they were designed for as individuals: your part is to be their confidant and guide.
Finally, once you’ve done all you know to do, be content to let go and leave things in the hands of a Higher Power. Avoid overthinking the possibility that there’s something you overlooked.
Note to Teachers
Peace of mind can seem even more elusive when you’re responsible for a roomful rather than a handful of children—along with trying to please administrators, official standards, and students’ parents all at once. Make a point of not taking criticism personally. At the same time, avoid letting your skin get so thick that you automatically ignore all concerns and suggestions—including those from your students. Young minds often conceive the best ways to lessen everyone’s worries.
EMPHASIZING THE BEST FOR KIDS AND FAMILIES
Do you want your children to grow up healthy, confident, responsible, and capable of handling themselves in challenging situations? So do we. Shady Oak Primary School emphasizes problem solving, critical thinking, and teamwork alongside standard “academic” subjects. If you’re looking for a school where every student is respected as an individual and encouraged to become an effective member of society, contact us today to learn more about our approach.
Blessings to parents and children of all ages!