Together, we learn to:
• Understand in a new way your own parenting stress: what triggers it and how it is a reflection of how you were parented.
• Appreciate the immense importance of the parent/child relationship, and embrace the new role of comforter and teacher, rather than punisher and discipliner.
• Incorporate methods of repairing your relationship with your child when you mess up (and mistakes happen to us all, no matter how good we are at parenting).
• Set and keep healthy emotional and physical boundaries.
• Calm your stress through deep breathing and reconnecting to the heart-full love you have for your child(ren).
• Reframe your perception of your child's misbehavior as a form of communication from the child. The child is seeking more parental love, guidance and/or discipline.
• Reconnect with joy and play as you interact with your child each day.
• Approach discipline in a new way always with Safety First.
More from YourTango: 'In It For The Kids': Terrible Reasons To Stay In A Bad Marriage
Get Started Right Now
Following are some parenting tips that you can put into practice right now. I think you'll be surprised at the difference in your parent/child relationship that even seemingly small changes will make.
• Remove children from danger or off-limits areas or items, rather than swatting, hitting or using an object.
• Replace harmful or off-limits objects in an infant or toddler hand (or mouth) with something that is okay for them to have.
• Be preventative and proactive by baby-proofing your living area. You set yourself and Baby up for failure if you keep precious or fragile objects within reach.
• Have a pre-arranged parenting buddy to call when Baby's behavior pushes you near the edge and you feel you are losing control of your cool. You can also set up a predetermined word or phrase to text for help in this area.
• Provide intense supervision, comfort, and calm interactions. Insist upon the same loving care-giving attitudes and practices from daycare workers, family, friends, nannies, and babysitters as you provide to your child.
Foundation for Life
Early experiences influence a child lifelong. These experiences become our beliefs and our beliefs determine our behaviors, even when we don't want them to. Beliefs are self-reinforcing and, one by one, get stacked in our psyche. Our beliefs can be sometimes helpful, sometimes not, and sometimes in conflict.
Beliefs determine our actions. Are we doomed? Can they be changed? Thank goodness the answers are "No" and "Yes." No, we are not doomed, and "Yes" they can be changed. It isn't easy, but it is doable. We have the ability because of neuroplasticity (the ability of our brains to develop and change) to learn and grow and develop ourselves life-long.
Our beliefs about ourselves, others, life, what is possible for us, what isn't possible, whether we are lovable or unlovable, valuable or not valuable, good enough or not good enough, determine what we believe about children, spanking and child development.
More from YourTango: The Growth And Development of the Teenage Mind
As parents, we have to be willing to examine ourselves and our beliefs so that we can change our beliefs, and by doing that, we change the trajectory of our lives and the lives of our children.