Parenting Pointers: Keys to Being a Good Parent With Dr. Rosina McAlpine! by Donna John
Wouldn’t it be nice if babies came with an instruction manual? We all know they don’t, so becoming a good parent has a lot to do with instinct and learning as you go. But there are things you can do to grow into a great parent. Dr. Rosina McAlpine is a 30Second Mom contributor, radio host, author, parenting expert and creator of the Win Win Parenting approach to guide parents, and she was on hand recently to share her tips!
Q: What are 3 keys for being a great parent?
A: Key 1: Love and patience. Key 2: Keep them safe. Key 3: Give your children life skills. Make time for love, hugs, kisses and fun together. Just 10 to 15 minutes quality time daily shows you care. Respond to your children with patience and love rather than react with judgment and reprimand. Keep your children safe by showing them how to keep themselves safe. Look for win-win solutions to daily parenting challenges that are good for parents and good for kids. Help your children become loving, caring and capable members of your family by sharing your values.
Q: Life’s busy and stressful. What are your tips for staying calm especially with parenting challenges?
A: Care for yourself so you’re a good role model for your children and have energy and patience when needed. Choose empathy and education over discipline and punishment to resolve parenting challenges. Try Win Win Parenting’s S.E.E Parenting approach: Step 1 STOP, Step 2 EMPATHIZE, Step 3 EDUCATE.
- STOP and take a breath before jumping in to resolve an issue so you can respond calmly rather than react.
- EMPATHIZE with your child. Try and understand the challenge from their point of view.
- EDUCATE and teach your children the life skills they need to overcome the challenge and cooperate at home.
Q: Which life skills should parents focus on?
- Health and Well-being: Understanding the importance of good nutrition and regular exercise.
- Emotional Regulation: Managing emotional outbursts and behaviors (eg: learning to calm anger and frustration).
- Relationships: Caring and effective communication to nurture relationships with family and friends.
- Inspired Creativity: Setting goals to achieve dreams and overcome life’s obstacles creatively.
- Personal Power: Self-esteem, persistence and resilience to bounce back after life’s challenges.
Q: What is the difference between self-esteem and self-confidence?
A: Self-confidence is all about “doing” and self-esteem is about “being.” Help kids assess self-confidence accurately low confidence if new to a skill and high if experienced. Self-esteem is not earned it’s a given. A child’s birthright is good self-esteem.
Q: How can parents support their kids to develop persistence and resilience?
A: Start with small projects of interest to the kids that span a few days or weeks and do it together. Role model persistence, no matter what, do a little bit every day until it’s done. Celebrate achievements. Helping children to manage emotions and to problem solve supports resilience.
Q: Is empathy and education better than discipline and punishment?
A: Discipline and punishment result in a lose for parents and a lose for kids – both feel stressed. Research shows harsh parenting lowers self-esteem and harms family relationships. Empathy and education teaches children how to be in the world without feeling bad about themselves. Empathy and education means home is a safe space for open communication. Empathy and education is a win win – parents teach and kids learn.
Q: Should parents just “know” how to be good parents?
A: Parenting, like any other role in society, needs to be learned. Education and experience needed. Use reliable, research-based parenting and child development advice for important decisions. Take a gentle long-term approach to your development as a parent and your child’s development. Focusing on nurturing the loving bond between you and your child is a gift for life.