Getting My Stuff Together as a Parent.

be the change

“Get your own “stuff” together so you can be a model for your children”
Parenting Passageway

I’ve read about this concept of ‘working on myself to be a better parent’ time and again on the Parenting Passageway, on other blogs, and in parenting books. It makes sense, but I confess, I have often put it off, shoved it to one side, put it on the ‘to do later list’… I’ve not wanted to spend the time taking a good long hard look at myself and changing my behavior because, quite frankly, that is hard.

But here I am listening to my kids fight and hearing, again, my own failings in their vicious words.

Our kids are such a mirror to our own, adult behaviors. They reflect back everything that we do, good, bad or in between. And while I know I am not the only parent in this house, or the only adult in the lives of my children, I also know that I can’t usually change the behaviors of others, but I can change my own behavior. Yep that old adage has never seemed more true than right now…

So here I am back to working on ‘being the queen‘ and ‘setting the tone‘ in my family… and this time I am stepping up and getting my own stuff together.

I need to figure out what pushes my buttons and why.
I need to work on dealing with frustration better.
I need to decide where I stand on things and stop putting my head in the sand and hoping some issues with just go away.
I need to decide on my own priorities and make a commitment to them.
I need to pay more attention to my own needs.
I need to exercise.
I need to really work on my tone.

What stuff do you need to get together?
What personal things do you need to work on to be a better parent?

{Image adapted from flattop341 via flickr}

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Read the comments or scroll down to add your own:

  1. says

    I like the idea of trying to be better at anything I do, including parenting. Sometimes it’s an easy issue to fix, other times it requires digging a bit deeper – and trying not to be too hard on ourselves at the same time. Good luck! but for the record, I think you’re an amazing mum.

    • katef says

      aw thanks Megan. Most of the time I think I do ok… but I always know I can do better… and mostly I think it is has to do with working on simply being a better ‘person’ rather than just a better ‘parent’.

  2. says

    Yes, it is too hard. I’m dragging my feet on developing a Parenting Manifesto because I know it means changing my own behaviour. Yelling at other people to change theirs is easier (but admittedly not that effective!).

  3. Sophie Bone says

    I convince myself that the peaks and troughs make for a better story a better trip to where the parenting bus is headed. there needs to be the loud bangs as the bus blows up, the quiet tinker as a team rebuilds the ol’ girl, the slowing down as the fuel runs out and the gentle tap on the bonnet after a day of good, solid purposeful travel. X

  4. DiVert says

    Needed to hear this today! I relate so much to your mantra about being the Queen and setting the example. But I really need to watch my tone – because hearing the negative words and statements come back at you from my 3 yr old is testament to how much impact what we say and do has. Bucken-hell is a new word in our house :( and I do not want to have to apologise for my unacceptable behaviour again (low moment).

    • katef says

      Oh I have so been there… on a number of occasions. It’s hearing your own words or tones come back at me from my kids that really wakes me up…

  5. says

    Yep, heard my 4 yo admonishing my 2 yo this morning in the most awful way. Where’s she heard that before? Sigh. I don’t think you should be too hard on yourself though. I think you are on the right track thinking it’s about the person you want to be, rather than the parent. And I’ve discovered, well for me personally anyway, that the person gets better with time.

  6. says

    I really need to work on my frustration – I let the little things get to me and then take it out on my little family and its not fair. If you figure out a good strategy please let me know… in the meantime, I’ll be in my ‘happy place!”

  7. says

    I need to let go. Funny thing is though, it isn’t all that difficult!

    In retrospect, I think your line “I need to decide where I stand on things and stop putting my head in the sand and hoping some issues with just go away” nails it on the head for me. I wish I had of done this years earlier.

  8. says

    I needed to hear this too. I have a very challenging 2.5 year old who is pushing all my buttons! I am getting very frustrated with her and sometimes despair at not knowing what to do. A few deep breaths is a good start.

  9. says

    Oh, where do I start?! So many things, but lately I have been reminded of something that is really important to me. I need to practice listening to others. Sounds simple, but listening, really listening, and responding with thought and care, is not so simple.

  10. says

    This is such a good point. I am working on counting to ten and taking a breath and not reacting when I feel my blood start to boil.
    I am featuring your post on my Sunday Parenting Party post this weekend. Please feel free to grab an I was featured badge

  11. says

    Kate I loved this post the first time I read it and I love it now. This is everything I try to work on (not always successfully!) but it is key. Look inwards first, then we’ll see the responsiveness, calm and connection that we want with our kids. I’m featuring this on my blog today as one of my faves from last week’s Sunday Parenting Party. Thank you for linking up.