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Parenting: 6 Myths You Should Know About

Parenting: 6 Myths You Should Know About

    It is easy to get overwhelmed with parenting these days. There are societal pressures and ever-changing child-rearing theories that have created a lot of stress and anxiety for parents. It’s time to clear up some misguided notions about good and bad parenting so that parents can get back to feeling confident and being able to enjoy their kids again.

    Here are the top myths surrounding the topic of parenting:

    1. Parenting has to be stressful and chaotic.

    Television shows, movies, and magazines seem to be driving this message home constantly. We see images of overwhelmed and exhausted parents everywhere! This seems to be the reality and so we just buy into it and become one of those busy, stressed parents ourselves.

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    This is a myth though. If certain tools are learned and used, and if we live our lives more slowly and with routine, our lives with family can be absolutely magical and peaceful.

    2. The more you do the better parent you are.

    Rushing around, taking your children to lessons and practices does not make you a great parent. Sorry. Giving your children love, one-on-one time and creating and participating in family traditions does.

    Being a great parent also means allowing your child to have down-time and loads of time to play. It is here that your children learn, problem-solve and are able to be physically healthy.

    3. You have to LOVE playing with your child.

    What? You don’t like playing choo-choo train with your child? You don’t like pretending you are an alien on another planet or a fairy in another land?

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    Spending quality time with your child IS important but many, many parents have been made to feel guilty that they do not enjoy participating in child-like play.

    Children and adults play very differently. Often children will dictate to parents HOW to play a game and when the parent tries, the child will often say, “No, this way”, making it even less enjoyable to play their game.

    So, choose something you love to do and share it with your child. Children LOVE to see what their parents like doing and often want to participate.

    4. You are a bad parent if you use the word “discipline” instead of “managing my child’s behaviors”.

    The word discipline comes from the word disciple, which means “learner”. Our children are the learners in our family…along with us of course, as we are all constantly learning. It is our job to teach and guide our children through each stage of their lives, using our values and experience as our reference.

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    Getting caught up on a word just shifts the focus from what is important – teaching our kids how to have self-discipline, to be kind, and to feel good about themselves. Not all discipline is equal, I’ll agree, however, using the word “discipline” should never label you as a parent who doesn’t care about the well-being of your child.

    5. The more talking and explaining you do, the more your child will do the right thing.

    This is a myth because children, particularly from the ages of 2-7 are concrete learners and do not have an understanding of logic and reasoning. They need simple sentences that they can follow and concrete experiences that they can understand.

    Any long lecture just goes in one ear and out the next. Simplicity is what works best, then adding more talking and explaining as they grow older and can actually comprehend what is being said.

    6. Letting your child struggle or get upset is bad parenting.

    Although it is not easy to watch our children struggle or be upset it is necessary at times and actually helps our children learn how to do new things and as a result feel good about themselves.

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    We know that the only way our children learn anything is to practice and practice, and that along with the practicing, there will be some frustration. Once they do master something they will feel great about themselves and THIS is the time to jump in and give them a high five, a hug and attention.

    Taking this experience of practice and mastery away from our children robs them of having confidence in themselves, the ability to be resilient and the feeling that they are capable. So, the next time your child is struggling, just stand back, let them try and try again, and if after some time, 5-10 minutes, they are not able to succeed, offer them encouragement and a little bit of help if needed.

    Given your experience as a parent or even as an observant child, what would you add to the list? I look forward to reading your thoughts!

    Image: Cia de foto

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    Last Updated on July 23, 2019

    5 Steps To Move Out Of Stagnancy In Life

    5 Steps To Move Out Of Stagnancy In Life

    In the journey of growth, there are times when we grow and excel. We are endlessly driven and hyped up, motivated to get our goals.

    Then there are times when we stagnate. We feel uninspired and unmotivated. We keep procrastinating on our plans. More often than not, we get out of a rut, only to get back into another one.

    How do you know if you are stagnating? Here are some tell-tale signs:

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    • If you have been experiencing chronic procrastination on your goals
    • If you don’t ever feel like doing anything
    • If you keep turning to sleep, eating, games, mindless activities and entertainment for comfort
    • If you know you should be doing something, but yet you keep avoiding it
    • If you have not achieved anything new or significant now relative to 1 month, 2 months or 3 months ago
    • If you have a deep sense of feeling that you are living under your potential

    When we face stagnation in life, it’s a sign of deeper issues. Stagnation, just like procrastination, is a symptom of a problem. It’s easy to beat ourselves over it, but this approach is not going to help. Here, I will share 5 steps to help you move out of this stagnation. They won’t magically transform your life in 1 night (such changes are never permanent because the foundations are not built), but they will help you get the momentum going and help you get back on track.

    1. Realize You’re Not Alone

    Everyone stagnates at some point or another. You are not alone in this and more importantly, it’s normal. In fact, it’s amazing how many of my clients actually face the same predicament, even though all of them come from different walks of life, are of different ages, and have never crossed paths. Realizing you are not alone in this will make it much easier to deal with this period. By trying to “fight it”, you’re only fighting yourself. Accept this situation, acknowledge it, and tell yourself it’s okay. That way, you can then focus on the constructive steps that will really help you.

    2. Find What Inspires You

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    Stagnation comes because there isn’t anything that excites you enough to take action. If you don’t have a habit of setting goals, and instead just leave yourself to daily mundanes, it’s not surprising you are experiencing stagnation. What do you want to do if there are no limitations? If you can have whatever you want, what will it be? The answers to these questions will provide the fuel that will drive you forward.

    On the other hand, even if you are an experienced goal setter, there are times when the goals you set in the past lose their appeal now. It’s normal and it happens to me too. Sometimes we lose touch with our goals, since we are in a different emotional state compared to when we first set them. Sometimes our priorities change and we no longer want to work on those goals anymore. However, we don’t consciously realize this, and what happens is we procrastinate on our goals until it compounds into a serious problem. If that’s the case for you, it’s time to relook into your goals. There’s no point in pursuing goals that no longer inspire you. Trash away your old goals (or just put them aside) and ask yourself what you really want now. Then go for them.

    3. Give Yourself a Break

    When’s the last time you took a real break for yourself? 3 months? 6 months? 1 year? Never? Perhaps it’s time to take a time-out. Prolonged working can cause someone to become disillusioned as they lose sight of who they are and what they want.

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    Go take some extended leave from work. A few days at bare minimum; a few weeks or months will be great. Some of my ex-colleagues have quit their jobs and took months out to do some self-reflection. Of course, some of us might not have that luxury, so we can stick to a few weeks of leave. Go on a trip elsewhere and get away from your work and your life. Use this chance to get a renewed perspective of life. Think about your life purpose, what you want and what you want to create for your life in the future. These are big questions that require deep thinking over them. It’s not about finding the answers at one go, but about taking the first step to finding the answers.

    4. Shake up Your Routines

    Being in the same environment, doing the same things over and over again and meeting the same people can make us stagnant. This is especially if the people you spend the most time with are stagnant themselves.

    Change things around. Start with simple things, like taking a different route to work and eating something different for breakfast. Have your lunch with different colleagues, colleagues you never talked much with. Work in a different cubicle if your work has free and easy seating. Do something different than your usual for weekday evenings and weekends. Cultivate different habits, like exercising every day, listening to a new series of podcasts every morning to work, reading a book, etc (here’s 6 Proven Ways To Make New Habits Stick). The different contexts will give you different stimulus, which will trigger off different thoughts and actions in you.

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    When I’m in a state of stagnancy, I’ll get a sense of what’s making me stagnate. Sometimes it’s the environment I’m in, sometimes it’s the people I’ve been hanging out with, sometimes it’s my lifestyle. Most of the times it’s a combination of all these. Changing them up helps to stir myself out of the stagnant mode.

    5. Start with a Small Step

    Stagnation also comes from being frozen in fear. Maybe you do want this certain goal, but you aren’t taking action. Are you overwhelmed by the amount of work needed? Are you afraid you will make mistakes? Is the perfectionist in you taking over and paralyzing you?

    Let go of the belief that it has to be perfect. Such a belief is a bane, not a boon. It’s precisely from being open to mistakes and errors that you move forward. Break down what’s before you into very very small steps, then take those small steps, a little step at a time. I had a client who had been stagnating for a long period because he was afraid of failing. He didn’t want to make another move where he would make a mistake. However, not wanting to make a mistake has led him to do absolutely nothing for 2-3 years. On the other hand, by doing just something, you would already be making progress, whether it’s a mistake or not. Even if you make a supposed “mistake”,  you get feedback to do things differently in the next step. That’s something you would never have known if you never made a move.

    More to Help You Stay Motivated

    Here are some resources that will help you break out of your current phase:

    Featured photo credit: Anubhav Saxena via unsplash.com

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