Do you want to know how to excel at parenting? I’ve done the research, and here are the 11 things I include in my family daily routine that make truly great parents.
Parenting is really hard. You don’t know quite how hard until you’re in the middle of the madness. Often times you feel like you’re hanging on by a thread. I’ve found the best way to tackle parenting is through small, daily habits. After much research and a bunch of trial and error, I’ve put together the top 11 habits of highly successful parents. I’ve added them to my family daily routine, and you can too!
Some parenting programs encourage 15 or more minutes of uninterrupted one-on-one time for each kid (and for each parent). Sometimes this just isn’t possible. Families are busy. But great parents make connection a priority. You can even incorporate it into part of your day. Prep and make dinner with one of your kids. Water and weed your garden with another. Even just a couple of minutes of quality time with your kids will do the trick.
Daily Chores for Kids
The most successful parents are ones that teach their kids basic life skills, including chores. Kids that participate in the upkeep of the house and family are better prepared for adult life, have a great appreciation for their family and their property, and they are more responsible. So assign daily, age appropriate chores for your kids. Even the littlest of kids can identify matching socks or pick up their toys.
Daily Grounding (or Calming) Practice
Meditation and mindfulness keep your brain healthy, just like exercise keeps your body healthy. This is a habit of many highly successful people, so it’s a great habit to teach your kids and incorporate into your daily life. Here are 17 super simple grounding techniques you can practice with your kids on a daily basis.
Lack of sleep can impact your mood, your ability to learn, and can even cause accidents. Chronic sleep issues can even lead to health issues. It’s reported that only half of US kids get the right amount of sleep. It’s a big problem! Great parents prioritize sleep because it sets kids up for success in all other areas of life.
Limit Screen Time
There’s no shortage of news articles, research studies, and documentaries like the Social Dilemma that illustrate our addiction to screens. What’s worse, our kids are addicted to screens. And while the jury may still be out on exactly how bad screens are for kids, we know that it does create attention issues, limits their desire to explore and learn, and impacts their cognitive development. Even tech moguls like Steve Jobbs and Bill Gates are known to have had strict screen time limits for their kids. So it’s best to error on the side of caution and stick to the APA guidelines for your child’s age. We love BARK to limit your kids screen time and monitor their online activity.
Family dinner (or breakfast or lunch)
There’s been a lot of research on the impact of family meals on kids. And the benefits are pretty clear. Kids who eat at least one meal at the table with their parents are less likely to engage in substance abuse, have healthier eating habits, perform better academically, lower risk of depression, lower risk of teen pregnancy, and increased self-esteem. Parents also benefit because it’s a great opportunity to stay engaged in their children’s lives.
If you’re struggling to have productive conversations at dinner time, try this list of 108+ questions your kids will Want to answer.
Daily positive affirmations
As children grow they develop an inner voice. It’s the little comments they say to themselves. We can help them develop a positive inner voice by practicing daily positive affirmations. For example, we can help them say to themselves “I can’t make a free throw YET, but I’ll keep working” instead of “I’m terrible. I’ll never be able to make a free throw.” Positive affirmations are extremely powerful, and if you incorporate small amounts into your daily life you can easily develop a positive growth mindset that will serve them well into adulthood. Here are free positive affirmation printables you can use to get the positivity rolling!
Some of you might use the term “exercise”. I don’t like that term because it reminds me of running. But kids need movement. According to the CDC, most kids need at least an hour of vigorous movement every single day. It helps them learn and keeps their body healthy, just to name a couple of benefits. So get moving! Get outside and take a hike, let the kids run in fields. Play basketball. Go swimming. Make movement a priority each and every day.
Reading daily has a plethora of benefits. It can improve sleep, promote creativity and imagination, reduce stress, and encourages learning. It even helps foster a deep sense of empathy. The most successful people in the world have but one thing in common. Virtually all of them read a lot. So this is definitely a habit you want to start from birth. Read together daily. Even just one board book is enough. Once kids can read on their own, foster their love of books in any way you can!
Growing kids need freedom. They need the be independent enough to make mistakes and learn on their own. They need the ability to make decisions for themselves. Yes, they are going to make mistakes. That’s ok! You want them to make mistakes and learn from them while they are still under your guidance. So offer age-appropriate autonomy wherever possible.
Prioritize Adult Relationships
No one wants entitled kids. The best way to communicate to kids that the world does not revolve around them is to show them. Let them witness your commitment to adult relationships. Go on dates. Join clubs or hobbies with other adults. Attend the parties and gatherings of friends. Let your kids see what healthy adult relationships look like, and how to balance and prioritize all the aspects of your life. They will benefit greatly in the long run.