It is no secret that parenting is hard work. It is a huge responsibility to take a helpless infant and prepare them to be a functioning member of society. But it does not need to be the hardest thing you have done or will ever do in your life. While there will be difficult stages and problems that catch you off-guard, the overall experience can be relatively relaxed and joyful.
What is the key to a relaxed child-rearing experience?
Now, let me clarify. Setting boundaries is not easy. Enforcing them is even more difficult, especially when your kids push back (and they will!). But doing so will pave the way for calm seas ahead.
When parents say what they mean and mean what they say, remaining consistent and refusing to bend when their kids test their resolve, kids learn to live comfortably within that framework. They learn to respect boundaries. They learn the art of self-discipline and eventually, stop testing the waters.
At that point, the parents’ job gets exponentially easier. They don’t have to deal with the same problems over and over, day in and day out. Challenges will still arise because that is called life. But difficulties become a small part of the child-rearing experience rather than the substance of it.
Ready to learn more?
CHALLENGE OF THE WEEK:
What battles do you fight over and over again? With your spouse, come up with a boundary surrounding that thing. Decide how you will stand firm in the face of pushback, and then give it a try.
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