Parenting Skills - Five Ways To Turbo-Boost Your Confidence
The 'phone conversation had nothing at all to do with
parenting - but it made me think . . .
"Hello, Eastbank Football Club. Can I help you?"
"Good morning, may I speak with the Assistant Coach,
"Oh, I'm sorry. He's still on vacation."
"I see. Is anyone on the coaching staff there?"
"No, they're all away right now. The club's closed for
another week. I'm only the Groundsman."
"Well, thanks anyway. And hey, why say you're only the
Groundsman? If it wasn't for you, there wouldn't be a
football club. They'd have nowhere to play!"
(Pause) "Yeah, I'd never really thought of it like that.
(Laughter) Thanks a lot, pal, you've made my day!"
So often we do ourselves down, don't we? We devalue our own
contribution or service.
"I'm only a shop assistant!"
"I'm only a . . . " (fill in the blank!)
Sometimes we even hear women say: "I'm just a housewife"!
Confidence and self-esteem are often in short supply these
days. And nowhere more so than in PARENTING!
Even those who are superbly confident in their work or
social situations, often teeter on the edge when it comes to
their parenting skills.
Is it something to do with the breakdown in old-fashioned
values and concepts of authority; the widening gulf between
kids and their parents; the dangers we as parents are so
acutely aware of, but which are casually dismissed by our
Whatever the causes, there's a lot you can do to improve
Dr Norman Vincent Peale, author of 'The Power Of Positive
Thinking', used to advise people to sit down and write
out a list of all their assets and abilities.
But Dr Peale's next suggestion is crucial. Once the list of
assets and abilities has been written, he tells us to raise
the stakes. Simply BELIEVE that you are AT THE VERY LEAST
10% better than you think. It's now widely acknowledged in
modern psychology that you'll still be way off the mark! So
have faith. You're better than you think.
Do some study. You probably weren't taught parenting skills
at school or college, yet parenting is the most vital
contribution to society. There are lots of books,
courses, tapes, CDs and videos on parenting. No excuses!
Grab some and get busy. Knowledge and insight bring
confidence. Whatever stage you're at, you can improve
Learn to temper your reaction in stressful parenting
situations. Easier said than done! But you can make a
conscious effort to stay calm and remind yourself of
Dr Peale's advice (You're more capable than you think you
are!), and you can put into practice what you've been
studying about family dynamics.
Develop yourself in some way. Yes, remember those piano
lessons you once took, or that art class you attended?
Interests like these are great stress relievers and they
build self-confidence - which is vital for parenting. If
you feel you're already confident in other matters, but
it's only in parenting you feel a lack, why not take up
some activity with your kids? Learning together brings you
together, and can be great fun!
Finally, resist any temptation to go it alone. Nature
intended us to be social creatures. Seek advice from
grandparents, relatives, friends. Overcome your pride.
Discuss your parenting challenges with others and draw on
the communal strength. And d'you know what? You'll find
you're not alone. Let's work on parenting together, as a
Confident parents raise confident kids.
So take action now. If you do nothing, you can look
forward to more of the same worry, tension, ill-feeling,
and so on.
Let's zap these negative trends once and for all.
Why do some parents and children succeed, while others
Frank McGinty is an internationally published author and
teacher. If you want to develop your parenting skills and
encourage your kids to be all they can be, visit his web