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7 Ways I Will be a Better Parent This Year

A new year often prompts a change in thinking or habits. It offers the opportunity to try new things and to put a stop on bad habits that were indulged in the previous year.

I have a few resolutions this year. Some I’ve failed in this week, but I have another 51 weeks to try again. Or so I say to myself.

One area of my life that I would like to improve in is being a better parent.

I don’t think I do too badly, but there are times when I’ve been tired, emotional or simply just over whining kids and I’ve given in to bad habits.

For example, I put on the TV instead of reading a book or setting up an activity, or I serve a pre-packaged snack instead of cut up fruit and veggies.

Don’t get me wrong, there is a time and place for these things. There is no judgement at ALL from me if you do them, but I just want to make these habits a rare occurrence.

Improving my parenting skills and being a better parent is not a bad resolution to have. Here is what I’m planning to do this year with my kids.

7 Ways I Will be a Better Parent This Year

1. Stress less. Easier said than done, but I have to admit my reactions to mess and unexpected shit fights can stir up a negative reaction in me. When my kids force me to face a situation that makes me want to scream, yell or swear FFS, I’m going to place my tongue at the roof of my tongue and count to 10. I want to react with less emotion, and more love.

“We made snow mum” ???? That was the rubbish bag holding the shredded paper…. #schoolholidaysfun #mess #letitsnow #mayhem #sendacleanerplease by @theplumbette

2. Read more books. After my third baby, reading books to my children became a little haphazard. There would be fights on which book to read and whose room the book would be read in. Tantrums aside, sometimes I just can’t wait to get my kids into bed so I can start working at night. This year, I’m going to bring dinner and bath time forward so I can read to my girls each night before they go to bed. Reading is important and it’s a great way to wind down before the kids go to sleep.

3. Eat less packaged junk. It’s so easy to let the kids feed themselves from the pantry. Packets of chips and Le Snacks are always ready, with no food prep involved. But I know they aren’t the best food snack choices for my kids. I’m going to bring more fresh fruit and whole foods to my girl’s snacks and lunchboxes. And I will have containers of fresh fruit cut up so they can easily head to the fridge for a healthy snack.

Maggie likes to keep us entertained at dinner time! Not sure who or what she’s watched placing cucumber slices on their eyes. ??#threeyearsold #threenagerstyle #cucumberslices #havetolaugh by @theplumbette

4. Let them get involved in chores. I know chores are important and good for my girls to do, but I sometimes have a hard time letting them do them because I know I will get them done quicker – and possibly better. But I also don’t want to be that mum who wishes she taught her kids early on how to fold the laundry or stack the dishwasher. This year, no matter how much it pains me, I will get them involved in simple chores around the house.

These two are proud of setting the table. So am I. #familychores #dinnertime #familydinner #familysthateattogether by @theplumbette

5. Less Screen time. I’ve been doing better at this already this year. My girls enjoy watching movies or playing on the iPad. And it’s my go to activity when I need peace and quiet. This year we will read more books, do more craft and play more board games.

Played Hungry Dinos and the girls LOVED it! So did I. Money well spent for Christmas. #christmas2016 #christmaspresent #boxingday #dayafterchristmas #hungrydinos by @theplumbette

6. More responsibility. I want to teach my girls to be more responsible with their belongings. This is easier said than done, and it could be a long shot, but I want to teach my girls the consequences of not looking after their things – for example ensuring their backpack is packed for school, or putting their shoes away in their wardrobe so they can find them next time they need them. Most times, I’m the mum rushing around the house like a blue-arsed-fly, trying to find shoes and hats because they haven’t been put away in their designated spot.

Mother of the year right here. Walked all the way to school and one of the mums pointed out that Phoebe was wearing mismatching shoes. At least they’re on the right feet! #whoneedsmatchingshoes #twoyearolds #toddlerfashion #motheroftheyearrighthere by @theplumbette

7. Not worry about what other parents think of me. I am usually a go-with-the-flow type parent and I have been judged for being too lax with my girls. I’ve also been judged for being too harsh. Parenting and values differ from parent to parent. Only I know the circumstances of my life and how my children behave that warrant certain parenting actions. I’m always open for new wisdom, but I won’t let another parent’s judgement discourage me from what I think is right.

Do you have any parenting resolutions this year? Why not share them with us in the comments.

Rebecca Senyard

Rebecca Senyard is a plumber by day and stylist by night but these days she changes more nappies than washers. She is a happily married mum to three young daughters who she styles on a regular basis. Rebecca is not only an award winning plumber, she also writes an award winning blog called The Plumbette where she shares her life experiences as a plumber and mother. Rebecca also blogs at Styled by Bec believing a girl can be both practical and stylish. Links to the blogs are http://www.theplumbette.com.au and http://www.styledbybec.com.au/blog

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