Joyful Parenting Tool: Playtime Skills to Make Parenting Fun Again!

Good news: many parents see an increase in warmth, connection and positive behaviors by learning simple playtime tools to focus attention on positive behaviors. Using the PRIDE Skills (Praise, Reflect, Imitate, Describe, and Enjoy), we take a quick break from all the correcting and directing of everyday parenting and learn new ways to call attention to desired behaviors, nurturing and reinforcing the good stuff we see from our kids.

Joyful Parenting Tool: Effective Praise

Praise is a cornerstone of most parent’s daily routine. And with a few minor tweaks, you can substantially boost the impact of your praise. These strategies for praise really work to increase positive behaviors all while improving your child's self esteem and increasing the warmth in your relationship. How good is that?

Cheers to the Dads Who Don't Help

Dads are so important. This Father’s Day, let’s work to change how we talk about their role in the family. In our families, we can allow space for “masculine” to include the qualities of being nurturing, attentive, and gentle. The qualities of fathers.

Joyful Parenting Tool: The "And" Will Set You Free

Parents practice the first step in Dialectic Behavior Therapy (DBT) every day. We explore the world of dialectics: seemingly opposing forces that co-exist, rather than exclude one another. The secret is the "and": I love my son in a deeper way than I can describe and if he doesn’t stop whining immediately I might lose my mind. In DBT, we allow that every perspective is accurate in its own way and holds a kernel of truth. Freedom exists in this grey area; I am free to acknowledge that parenting needn’t be either joyful or challenging. The truth is all of the above. 

Joyful Parenting Tool: Cognitive Coping

Our perspective shapes our reality. Our kids don’t need perfect parents who beat themselves up about parenting. They need loving parents who practice the same patience and compassion for themselves as they do their friends and family.  You can challenge any thoughts creating emotional distress and embrace a more joyful and compassionate approach to parenting

The Case for Joyful Parenting

It’s so easy to be stressed, to fall into a near-constant state of overwhelm, to be too busy to enjoy the little moments, to live in the anxious echo-chamber of our heads. When this is our daily state, we communicate to our kids that parenting is not a joyful task. I find joy in comforting parents who not only struggle, but compound this struggle with self-judgement and shame. Parenting is possibly the most important thing any of us will ever do. And we all need support, dialogue, and tools to become the parents we want our children to have. In the following series, I will share tools from an evidence-based models (PCIT and CBT) with the hope that you can use them to reclaim the joy in your role as a parent.