Five Ways To Turbo-Boost Your Parenting Skills

Frank McGinty

The phone conversation had nothing at all to do with parenting - but it made me think . . .

Hello, Eastbank Football Club. Can I help you

Good morning, may I speak with the Assistant Coach, please

Oh, Im sorry. Hes still on vacation.

I see. Is anyone on the coaching staff there

No, theyre all away right now. The clubs closed for another week yet. Im only the Groundsman.

Well, thanks anyway. And hey, why say youre only the Groundsman If it wasnt for you, there wouldnt be a football club. Theyd have nowhere to play!

Pause Yeah, Id never really thought of it like that. Laughter Thanks a lot, pal, youve made my day!

So often we do ourselves down, dont we We devalue our own contribution or service.

"Im only a shop assistant!"

"Im only a . . . " fill in the blank!

Sometimes we even hear women say: "Im just a housewife"!

Confidence and self-esteem are often in short supply these days. And nowhere more so than in PARENTING!

Even those who are superbly confident in their work or social situations, often teeter on the edge when it comes to their parenting skills.


Is it something to do with the breakdown in old-fashioned values and concepts of authority; the widening gulf between kids and their parents; the dangers we as parents are so acutely aware of, but which are casually dismissed by our kids

Whatever the causes, theres a lot you can do to improve things.

Dr Norman Vincent Peale, author of The Power Of Positive Thinking, used to advise people to sit down and write out a list of all their assets and abilities.

But Dr Peales next suggestion is crucial. Once the list of assets and abilities has been written, he tells us to raise the stakes.

Simply BELIEVE that you are at the very least 10% better than you think. Its now widely acknowledged in modern psychology that youll still be way off the mark! So have faith. Youre a whole lot better than you think.

Secondly, do some study. You probably werent taught parenting skills at school or college, yet parenting is the most vital contribution to society. There are lots of books, courses, tapes, CDs and videos on parenting.

No excuses! Grab some and get busy. Knowledge and insight bring confidence. Whatever stage youre at, you can improve yourself.

Thirdly, learn to temper your reaction in stressful parenting situations. Easier said than done! But you can make a conscious effort to stay calm and remind yourself of Dr Peales advice Youre more capable than you think you are!, and you can put into practice what youve been studying about family dynamics.

A fourth way to boost your parenting skills is to develop yourself in some way. Yes, remember those piano lessons you once took, or that art class you attended Interests like these are great stress relievers and they build self- confidence - which is vital for parenting.

If you feel youre already confident in other matters, but its only in parenting you feel a lack, why not take up some activity with your kids Learning together brings you together, and can be great fun!

Finally, resist any temptation to go it alone. Nature intended us to be social creatures. Seek advice from grandparents, relatives, friends. Overcome your pride. Discuss your parenting challenges with others and draw on the communal strength. And dyou know what Youll find youre not alone. Lets work on parenting together, as a community.

Confident parents raise confident kids.

Take action now. If you do nothing, you can look forward to more of the same old worry, tension, ill-feeling, etc. etc.

Zap these negative trends once and for all. To give yourself a real boost, check out our website. And why not sign up for our free monthly e-zine, Family Features To show our appreciation well send you a free six-day e-mail course entitled A Step-By-Step Guide To Positive Parenting.

About The Author

Frank McGinty is an internationally published author, teacher, and owner of where he and his wife, Grace, a family & child care social worker, help parents develop their personal and family skills. Click here to sign up for their free e-zine, Family Features, and free six-part e-course.

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