Better Parenting Through Awareness & Self Care

By Vera Gabliani, Ph.D.

Developing your skill as a parent is an ongoing process that benefits from a thoughtful focus. So many of us are busy and preoccupied with just getting through our day that we forget to be present and actively choose the way we are in relation to our children.
So here is a gentle reminder list of some important points to consider that will help you create more of what you would prefer.

  1. Get clear on what really matters to you about your relationship with your child. What do you like about your relationship and what are your recurrent frustrations or disappointments?
  2. In case the first item triggered some self-blame or guilt, just take a moment to appreciate yourself for your willingness to become more aware of yourself and your choices.
  3. Calmer parents are better able to choose how they respond to their children. Create pauses in your day to gift yourself with space to unplug. Try just five minutes of turning off your phone and gazing out into nature or recalling a happy memory and notice how this simple practice improves your interactions.
  4. Share your journey as a parent by connecting with supportive others. You were never meant to raise your children on your own.
  5. When a challenge arises, step back from the situation. The time you take to gain perspective on your options and any course corrections makes a huge difference. Remember that reacting means acting out old patterns, most of which we want to delete not repeat.
  6. Notice and be grateful for all the good in your relationship with your children EVERY DAY! This deliberate focused attention creates new brain and behavior pathways. Share all the good you are appreciating out loud with your children. What you focus upon and express is powerful and validates and creates change for you and your children.
  7. Get some professional support to re-work any of your old programming that is creating conflicts or communication issues. Know that parenting is challenging because your children often trigger any unfinished business you have with your own parents or your childhood experiences. This is a natural process of growing into your role as a parent and a wiser adult.

Dr. Vera Gabliani has been teaching and empowering parents and their teens for over 20 years. She looks forward to talking with you and can be reached at (314) 966-0880.