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Two Ways to be a Better Parent

Having kids is the most fun my husband and I have ever had. It’s also the most stressful, most exhausting, and most frustrating thing we’ve ever done. We like to think we are good parents – and that the happy, well-behaved (most of the time), intelligent little girls we have say a lot to corroborate that story. However great we may be, we do find ourselves losing patience from time to time.

It’s easy to get frustrated when you have a 4-year-old and an 18-month-old running in opposite directions making a mess, not doing what they’re told, and making you later than you already are. We yell. We get frustrated. We want to stomp our feet and throw a fit (and sometimes we do). We are always on the lookout for ideas that will help to make us better parents. Here are two really good ones we thought we’d share.

Stop Making Comparisons

Do not be that annoying mom who constantly makes comparisons. Here’s the deal: It’s not productive, healthy, or at all admirable. Everyone with a brain knows that every kid in the world develops at a different rate and that there’s not anything you can do about it. Our first daughter didn’t walk until a week after her first birthday, but she was using small sentences at that point. By 18 months she was carrying on conversations. Our youngest daughter started walking at 10 months and the kid is 19 months old and doesn’t talk to us at all other than to say, “I want (fill in the blank),” “No,” and “Bye.” We haven’t done anything different with her. Secure parents don’t compare – insecure parents do.

Don’t Use Labels

You may not intend to label your child, but you do it. By referring to him or her as shy, or wild, or hyper, you are labeling them. When they hear you refer to them with that label, it makes them feel like that’s what they are, and they will not change.

Tiffany Raiford is a lifelong Floridian, wife to my high school sweetheart and mother of four littles (two girls and boy/girl twins...no, they are not identical and yes, I'm sure). My kids love to whine, so I love to wine. My loves include nap time, bed time, date night, travel and evenings and weekends when my husband is home because he handles all diaper changes.
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