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  • Writer's picturePortia Phillips

5 Ways to Parent in 2021

" At the end of the day, the most overwhelming key to a child's success is the positive involvement of parent's."

-Jane D. Hull

1 Be Present

To Do :

1. Live in the moment

2. Act now

As we head toward the close of yet another unprecedented year, it is important that identify the areas of our lives that we can control. Our presence in the lives of our children is more important than anything, especially now that our mortality has been made abundantly clear as of late.

Some ways we as parents can be more present are:

  • Be visible- Try to remain in the communal spaces in your home, or adjust your schedule to include time dedicated to your kiddos.

  • Be accessible- Make sure your children know that can come to you with their joys and pains by spending less time on social media, watching shows they are interested in, or cooking more meals at home.

  • Communicate verbally-Make an effort to hold a conversation with your child that requires a back and forth response. This may require you preplan your questions or set up some routines to talk.

  • Eat meals together- Sitting together for a meal is a great opportunity for bonding and relationship building. You can prep meals at night, if you work in the evening, wake early and eat a sit down breakfast together, or if you travel facetime during meals.

2 Be Fair

Adults understand that not all things will be fair, however we do have the ability to ensure fairness in our homes. Often times we as parents take from what we received as children which may or may not be best practice.

  • Flexibility is key, especially if there are multiple children involved. We have to be willing to change or adjust our parenting style to do what's best for our kids.

  • Discipline is a major item on the list when it comes to parenting, and when doing so it should be corrective and not punitive.

  • Determine ways to incentivize desired behaviors without encouraging a reward system for expected behaviors.

A great read for parents, especially young parents is "How Full is Your Bucket" For Kids by Tom Rath and Mary Reckmeyer.

3 Be In The Know

"You think you know someone. But mostly, you just know what you want to know." -Joe Hill

Simply put, we must be researchers, fans, and students of our children, especially teens. Time should be dedicated to get to know their:

  1. friends

  2. friends parents

  3. hobbies

  4. social media platforms

  5. interests

  6. wants

  7. needs

  8. fears

Ways to get started could be to:

  • Invite their friends over often, and linger around to observe here and there

  • Create moments to discuss their interests and hobbies

  • Take part in their interest and hobbies

  • Host social events in the home and invite the friends and their parents

  • Create a community among the parents in your kids friend groups

4 Be Consistent

Consistency is key in many areas of our lives, and without it no party parent or child really knows what to expect.

Always remain in the role of "Parent".

  • Do not allow for the lines to be blurred.

  • Do not mistake a parent child relationship is synonymous with friendship as it relates to non-adult children.

  • Do not create a situation in which the child is parenting you in any way.

  • Do not rely on the the underage child for emotional guidance or support.

5 Be Reflective

"The more reflective you are, the more effective you are." -Pete Hall & Alisa Simoral

Finally, try to stop for a moment and think what worked, what did not and why. Identify those areas that need important and

Ask your kids:

  • What they want to see in your relationship

  • How they feel

  • What they like

  • What they dislike

  • What kind of relationship they may like

We are humans raising humans and humans are flawed. That being said, do not punish yourself for every flaw simply acknowledge and make adjustments.

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